Yesterday the Land Registry made, in my  view, the most significant Open Data announcement for four years. Land Registry will release, as open data, their entire ‘historical house price paid’ database. This data includes the vast majority of house sales in England and Wales since 1995.

These 17 million records for England and Wales are a veritable treasure trove. Sarah, who sits on the Open Data User Group (ODUG) committee, helped prepare the ODUG business case following a data request from Owen Boswarva. Congratulations to Sarah, Owen , Heather Savoury and the ODUG committee; but most of all congratulations to the leadership of the Land Registry. Hopefully Northern Ireland (LPS) and Scotland (ROS) will follow suit and we can create that rarest of things – a full UK master reference dataset.

The data is already heavily used (and paid for) by the likes of Zoopla, CACI and Experian, now everyone has open access to this definitive reference data. There are myriad applications in consumer services, property research, and academia; but as a B2B consultancy Geolytix are most interested in the analytical possibilities. These data can be used on their own to model some close-to-definitive indicators at address level; time at current address, property age, property type, current value etc. When combined with other open, or hopefully soon to be open, data things will get even more interesting… ratings lists… non-domestic registers… Energy Certificates… multi-occupancy lists… Social housing registers….Cadastral Index polygons… so many possibilities. Keep up the pressure ODUG

One final stray thought. The address text within the Land Registry data is generally of exceptionally high quality. It includes PAON/SOANs, street names and postcodes… now I wonder what Dr Bob Barr might suggest we could do with that.