After a busy October, November has been an exciting month of building on previous successes. As you may have seen on our social feeds, it was Innovation Month at RoS, and throughout the month we hosted internal events sharing stories from across RoS that focused on the theme of thinking differently and embracing the new. At first glance, this may seem to be an internal story, but we want to embed innovation into our organisation so that our external products and services are continuously improving. Initiatives like Innovation Month ensure we keep moving forward with this ambition.
One of the great successes in October at RoS was the launch of ScotLIS, Scotland’s Land Information Service, which facilitates access for both professionals and the general public to a wide range of land and property information. Since the launch, our ScotLIS team has been busy meeting with stakeholders across the UK to increase awareness and engagement with this important new service. From Dundee and Perth to Glasgow and Liverpool (meeting with colleagues at HMLR at the latter), the team has been hard at work – I’d like to thank them all for their efforts.
As well as embedding new services, we’ve been looking ahead to the future of our organisation and industry this month. In our 2016 Digital Consultation, we outlined our proposed plans for the digital future of land registration in Scotland. As part of these advancements, over the past weeks we’ve been working even more closely with stakeholders and the Scottish Government to lay the groundwork for improving efficiency in these services in 2018. Be sure to keep up to date through our social channels to get the latest news as it happens.
As ever, we released our monthly House Price Index (HPI). The figures for September 2017 showed the average price of a property in Scotland that month was £144,924 – an increase of 3.1 per cent on the previous September. In another key statistic, the volume of residential sales in July 2017 was 8,725. Though this was a drop of 5.7 per cent compared to July 2016, volumes were down in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well, with Scotland experiencing the smallest decrease across the UK. Interest in the statistics this month was high; Kenny Crawford, our Business Development and Information Director, discussed the figures with BBC Scotland upon their release.
In one final news update this month, our Digital Director Tom Meade was named ‘CIO of the Year’ at the UK IT Awards. Tom has played an instrumental role in our ongoing digital transformation, and this award recognises the sterling work both he and RoS as an organisation have put into making RoS a digital first public sector body.