Land Registry optimistic despite property slump

"The current property slump led to a challenging financial year, which has seen our core business collapse by up to 75% in volume.

"In the future we envisage a smaller, leaner, more customer-focused organisation dealing with many applications electronically and providing an expanding range of products and services to customers."

Highlights of the year include:

* The number of registered titles held on Land Registry’s database reached 22 million;
* The first mortgage or e-charge was signed electronically on 24 March 2009;
* Land Registry won a medal in the organisational excellence section of the British Computer Society’s IT industry awards for implementing electronic discharges;
* For the first time in its history Land Registry processed more voluntary than compulsory first registrations;
* The campaign to encourage owners of unregistered property to voluntarily sign up to the Land Register achieved its target of registering 325,000 hectares, with months to spare;
* Historic properties such as Hereford Cathedral were registered for the first time;
* After a major consultation exercise, Land Registry introduced significant changes to the Land Registration Rules in order to improve operational efficiency and reduce the administrative burden on customers;
* The project to improve the index map passed the landmark of processing 2 million polygons (electronically created multisided figures that represent the registered extent of a title);
* A major new five-year, £50 million contract was signed with IT firm Steria to provide Land Registry’s distributed IT services.

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