The Land Registry (the government agency responsible for maintaining the register of property titles) has announced that it will be halving the fees it charges homebuyers as from 17 March. This means that the transfer fee for an average-priced home will fall from £190 to £95.
Anyone buying a home for between £80 £100, 000 – which includes a significant proportion of shared ownership or Right to Buy sales even in London and the South East – the new fee will be just £20.
On the sale of any property the buyer’s solicitor has to apply for registration of the transfer with the Land Registry, and pay a fee to them. This fee is collected from the buyer at the time of completion, so the benefit of the reduced fees will be passed on to buyers whose purchases are completed on or after 17th.
The amount of the fee is based on a scale varying with the purchase price. Current fees range from £40 for properties up to £50, 000 to £910 for properties over £1m.
Electronic transfer applications cut costs for homebuyers
The current fees will be cut by half or even more when the transfer application is submitted electronically. Thanks to the Registry’s electronic Document registration Service (e-DRS) buyers’ solicitors can now submit the majority of transfer applications digitally, so homebuyers will soon be able to benefit from the reduced fees.
Ed Lester, the Chief Executive of the Land Registry, said:
"Last year, our efficiency savings allowed us to reduce fees and in 2013 we reduced our operating costs by a further four per cent. I am delighted today, to announce that we are in the fortunate position of being able to share the benefits of this reduction by again lowering our fees.
This is a great example of the benefits of delivering public services digitally to our professional customers. By incentivising e-lodgement, we want to encourage them to get on board and reap the full range of benefits of lodging by electronic means – lower costs, speed and convenience. ”
The new fees scales for property transfer applications submitted electronically from 17 March will be:
|Purchase price||Old fee||New fee|
|£0 to £50, 000||£40||£20|
|£50, 001 to £80, 000||£70||£20|
|£80, 001 to £100, 000||£120||£40|
|£100, 001 to £200, 000||£190||£95|
|£200, 001 to £500, 000||£270||£135|
|£500, 001 to £1 million||£540||£270|
|Over £1 million||£910||£455|