This topic examines the steps, time and cost involved in registering property, assuming a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute. In addition, the topic measures the quality of the land administration system in each economy. The quality of land administration index has five dimensions: reliability of infrastructure, transparency of information, geographic coverage, land dispute resolution, and equal access to property rights. The most recent round of data collection for the project was completed in May 2018. See the methodology for more information.

Doing Business Reforms

IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LAND ADMINISTRATION

Valid property rights are necessary to support investment, productivity and economic growth. Evidence from economies around the world suggests that property owners with registered titles are more likely to invest. They also have a better chance of getting credit when using their property as collateral. Likewise, having reliable, up-to-date information in cadasters and land registries is essential for governments to assess and collect property taxes correctly.

Twenty-eight economies made registering property easier by increasing the efficiency of property transfers and improving the quality of land administration in 2017/18. The most common aspects of reform included increasing transparency of information and improving administrative efficiency by reducing the time to transfer property. Djibouti, which made the biggest improvement in the ease of registering property in 2017/18, reduced the registration tax, implemented strict deadlines to register the sale agreement with the tax authority and digitized title deeds. Togo improved aspects of its property registration process in 2017/18 by creating an office dedicated exclusively to property transfers (thereby reducing the time to transfer property), lowering the property transfer tax and increasing transparency at the land registry. 

With 12 total reforms captured by Doing Business 2019, Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the most reforms relating to the transfer of property in 2017/18. Niger reduced the time to transfer property by implementing strict deadlines to process property transfers. The land registry in Gabon upgraded its website to provide relevant information to the public on land registry services, including a list of required documents for a property transfer and the applicable fees. Senegal decreased property registration times by streamlining the interactions between different departments at the property registry, introducing internal mechanisms to identify bottlenecks and enacting internal time limits to accelerate the registration process.

In the Middle East and North Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates improved transparency at the land registry. Morocco made official statistics on the number of property transfers available on the land registry’s website. Morocco also made it possible to request and obtain a digital certificate containing information on the property, the owners of the property and the status of any encumbrances on the property.
 

REGISTERING PROPERTY REFORMS BY ECONOMY DB2008-DB2019

= Doing Business reform making it easier to do business. = Change making it more difficult to do business.