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Cost of registering property and real estate fees to rise in England and Wales

The cash strapped Land Registry is increasing its registration fees for properties from the 6th of July as fewer properties are being sold. The cost of registering an average first-time buyer property worth £100,000 will rise from £100 to £130.

The fee for a home worth £150,000 is increasing from £150 to £200, while registration of a one million pound residence will cost £550 rather than the current £420.

The cost of official searches and copies of title plans will also increase, with the fee for a postal search rising from £6 to £8.

The government body says falling property sales is expected to result in an operating loss of £148 million in 2008/09 which will be met by reserves.

The increase in charges comes alongside other cost-cutting measures, including a voluntary redundancy scheme and plans to merge offices.

'Whilst these measures have helped to keep increases as small as possible, an increase is unavoidable,' said Land Registry finance director, Heather Foster.

'We do not believe this will be a deterrent to market recovery, especially in the context of interest rates at historically low levels and lower house prices,' she added.

Foster said that it will be the first increase in scale and fixed fees for substantive applications since 1993, while fees for information services were last increased three years ago.

'Fee increases are rare. Since 1993, eight of the nine Fee Orders (amending the level of fees) introduced by Land Registry have reduced fees. We will, of course, keep the new fees closely under review,' she added.