Nine out of ten applications for registration are right first time, but as part of our continuous efforts to reduce the one in ten that result in rejection, we've launched a Right First Time campaign. Our dedicated online hub includes a wide selection of tips, videos, blogs and general guidance, allowing you to keep the information you need in the format that best suits you – whether that's a checklist or more detailed legal information. It's a really great resource developed after careful analysis of the main reasons for rejection, so please do check it out.
As part of our digital transformation programme, we're working closely with the Law Society and the Council of Mortgage Lenders, as well as with a number of other stakeholder groups, to develop a new e-discharges system. For the first time, submitting discharges will be a fully electronic service, with no need for paper forms or deeds. This will make the process faster, easier and, of course, much better for the environment. You can find out more about our work on developing the new system on our blog.
This week, we released our quarterly house price statistics for January to March. These figures revealed an 18.2 per cent increase in the volume of house sales. While volumes were up, prices were down by 8.4 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year, bringing the average price to £159,198. This time last year, we saw a spike in house prices, with an increase in the number of high value property sales. By comparison, this year has seen an increase in the volume of lower value properties being sold, which may account for this year's lower average price. Future sales statistics will determine whether this is a one-off decrease, or whether this is a trend that will continue.
Earlier this month, I signed the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. As part of my role as keeper, I am often required to sign documents like these, allowing them to officially progress from a Bill to an Act. Registers of Scotland will have an important role to play as the Act is implemented in the near future, with the possibility that we will hold new registers and information about who owns Scotland.