Urban properties

Not many digital services can trace their origins to a Parliamentary vote when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

The roots of our Transaction Data go all the way back to our foundation in 1862 and the first land and property applications submitted to us for registration.

Over more than 150 years we’ve been amassing a rich store of information, first on paper but now in digital format. It’s the source of the data we now make available for free.

Transaction Data calculates the number of submitted applications we’ve completed, by account customers (typically conveyancers and/or lenders) in the preceding month.

The data is divided into five categories.

  • Number and types of applications by all account customers.
  • Number and types of transactions for value by all account customers.
  • Number of applications in England and Wales divided by region.
  • Number of applications in England and Wales divided local authority district.
  • Number of searches by all account customers.

Only applications which quote a Land Registry account number (key number) on the form are recorded, as account details are automatically verified. This means that these firms may be viewed preferentially by lenders because their recorded transactions are higher than firms that do not have or use an account number.

By the 1980s rapid house price growth was followed by the introduction of Conveyancer Panels, as the larger lenders selected specific law firms to do their conveyancing.

In 2008, Land Registry received the first in a series of Freedom of Information requests for Transaction Data. The information was used to create a list of the top 50 conveyancers based on Land Registry records. Information was initially made available on demand, but from April 2011 it was published monthly in the Disclosure Log. In January 2012, under the Open Government Licence we published all our Transaction monthly files, on Land Registry’s website and Data.gov.

It’s a long way from Lord Chancellor Westbury’s Land Registry Act of 1862 but we’re sure he’d be proud.

For more information about our Transaction data visit GOV.UK or contact DRO@landregistry.gov.uk.

Jackie Lynch
By Jackie Lynch,
Senior Communications Officer at HM Land Registry