This will be my penultimate monthly blog as Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, and here I’ll share my usual updates across the business, as well as an introduction to our new keeper.
Last month, the Registers of Scotland (Digital Registration, etc.) Regulations 2018 were signed by Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work. These new statutory regulations will form the basis of upcoming improvements starting with changes to our land registration application form, which will be streamlined to improve the user journey and reduce the number of rejections. You can find out more details about the changes in our recent blog post.
Our latest monthly HPI report again showcased the important role we play in land and property information for Scotland. Highlights from this month’s report showed that the average price of a property in Scotland in December 2017 was £148,783 – an increase of 7.7 per cent compared with December 2016 and an increase of 0.2 per cent on the previous month. Volumes also increased year on year, with the figure of 8,831 for October 2017, a 3.9 per cent increase on October 2016.
As you may already be aware, my successor as Keeper has been announced this month, with Jennifer Henderson appointed by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. A Civil Servant since 1994, Jennifer joins us after a six-month loan as a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, as well as experience leading on transformation at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. I’m delighted to be leaving RoS in such capable hands, as Jennifer leads RoS forward in our continuing digital transformation. Next month will be my final keeper’s message, after which I’ll hand over the reins to Jennifer.