11 Mar 2015
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced the development of a new system which will allow house hunters to access details about local crime levels.
The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland (RoS), Sheenagh Adams, will lead a task force to develop an online system that will allow users to find out comprehensive information about any piece of land or property in Scotland with a single enquiry.
This could include information such as school catchment areas, mining reports, flood risks and crime statistics.
The system will also include statistics that people often need when making property decisions.
Bob Fraser, senior property partner at national solicitor estate agent Aberdein Considine, believes the system will bring an end to “nasty surprises” for buyers and increase confidence in the property market.
“This system will be a huge boon for house hunters in Scotland and will give buyers all the information they need at their fingertips,” he said.
“Information on school catchment areas, flood risks and crime statistics are crucial for home buyers - and having them all in one place can only be good for the market.
“With the introduction of this alongside Home Reports, which have been in place for a number of years, house buyers in Scotland will be among the most informed in the world. They will be buying with their eyes open and there will be no nasty surprises.”
Sheenagh Adams said: “The creation of a land and property information system for Scotland is an exciting development that fits with our current project of completing the land register. Not only will this system make our economy more efficient, but it will reduce both the risks and costs of doing business.
“We’ve already seen the benefits of such a system in countries like Norway, which is ranked number five on the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ survey in relation to registering property. I believe that we can do the same, and that Scotland can become an exemplar of joined-up thinking and digital provision.”
Developing the system will involve providing access to the data contained across a wide range of sources. This will remove the current costs and barriers sometimes involved with searching for land and property information.
The keeper has already started to contact organisations such as the Scottish Government, Ordnance Survey and Scottish Natural Heritage to invite them to work with RoS on the project, which has been tasked with reported back to the Deputy First Minister in July.
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