I am pleased to report that, since its introduction on 1 April, everything has gone smoothly with the transition from stamp duty land tax to land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT). As the first tax to have been developed and introduced in Scotland for over 300 years, RoS' role is to work with the new authority, Revenue Scotland, in the enforcement and collection of the tax.
Our quarterly statistics were released at the end of the month. Covering January to March this year, the figures show a 13.3 per cent rise in house prices compared to the same period in the previous year, bringing the average price to £173,830. The City of Edinburgh recorded both the highest average for the quarter, up 21.4 per cent to £260,647, and the highest volume of sales at 2,123. As our head of data, Hugh Welsh, commented: "Future sales statistics will determine whether this is a one-off spike in quarter four average prices, or whether this is a trend that will continue."
We are currently working on the secondary legislation which, subject to ministerial approval, will allow us to implement the main recommendations of the land register completion consultation. This includes a 25 per cent reduction in voluntary registration fees, which we anticipate will take effect from 1 July. You can keep up to date with the latest on our land a register completion project by visiting the dedicated page on our website.