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Scrapping Hips must be done quickly

May 15, 2010

Scrapping Hips must be done quickly

Plans to scrap Home Information Packs (Hips) need to be implemented quickly to avoid confusing those with home loans and people looking to buy a property, it has been claimed.

The decision is set to benefit both homebuyers and sellers, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

NAEA chief executive Peter Bolton King warned that it is "vital" the new Liberal Democrat and Conservative Party coalition government acts on the commitment "decisively and quickly".

He said: "Sellers are not going to be prepared to spend hundreds of pounds now if they feel they won’t have to in a few months.

"The implications to the market of thousands of people suddenly deciding to hold off selling their home could be severe. We urge the government to act now."

Setting out its initial aims, the government indicated that although Hips will be scrapped, energy performance certificates (EPC) will be maintained.

EPCs are one of the component parts of Hips, which have been widely criticised as adding unnecessary expense and delays to the housing market buying and selling process.

Mr King believes that the packs have failed to benefit buyers, for whom the packs were intended to provide useful information prior to confirming a purchase.

He added that the packs have also failed to benefit sellers, who have "paid too much attention to these pointless packs".

March figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicate that house seller activity has only just returned to the level prior to the introduction of Hips in 2007.

However, the rate of house price rises also appears to be slowing, with half as many surveyors reporting a rise rather than a fall in house prices in March compared to February.

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