A couple of weeks ago, you may have noticed a new email from RoS. This was our Bulletin, and in it you’ll find all the recent policy and process developments that matter to our customers. We’ll continue to send this in the coming months, and we welcome any feedback you might have.
The end of the financial year is almost here, and with that in mind I’ve been working closely with colleagues from across the organisation to develop our next corporate plan, laying out our goals and responsibilities for the immediate future. We’re just in the process of finalising it, and I look forward to sharing it with you soon.
In business news, our Information and Analysis team released a review of the residential property market for the 2018 calendar year, which highlighted a number of significant statistics and trends. The total value of the Scottish property market increased by 1.3 per cent during the year to £18.1 billion, while the average price of a residential property also rose, by 3.7 per cent to £179,121.
It was another busy month of stakeholder engagement as well, including a visit to speak with the Property Law committee of the Law Society of Scotland. I gave them a general update on RoS and our work, while also taking questions. I was also delighted to be the keynote speaker at the Scots Law Conveyancing Conference, discussing the changes at RoS since I joined as Keeper almost a year ago, and where we’re going next.
I always welcome the opportunity to share how RoS does its work with our politicians and lawmakers, and so I was in London recently to give evidence to the House of Lords’ Joint Select committee on the draft Registration of Overseas Entities bill. The bill proposes the introduction of a register for the owners of overseas legal entities that own land in the UK, in order to combat money laundering and achieve greater transparency in the UK property market. I was joined by senior members from the UK’s other land registration bodies, and it was a valuable session on an important subject.
While on this subject, you may have seen my appearance in early February at the Scottish Parliament giving evidence to the Economy, Energy and Fair Work (EEFW) committee. On 12 March, MSPs discussed the matter further, highlighting the importance of access to information about land and property in Scotland. Kate Forbes, the Minister for the EEFW committee, said she was impressed with our approach to digital services, in particular the development of ScotLIS. It was great to hear this feedback, and I’m committed to continuing to work alongside politicians, stakeholders and members of the public alike.
Effective collaboration with customers is at the heart of what we do, and so I’d like to close by encouraging you to attend our RoS Open Day, which is being held on 22 May. This will be an opportunity to get behind the scenes at RoS and see our processes first hand, while also meeting with our staff whose hard work makes everything we do possible.