HIPS TO BE SCRAPPED ?
The housing spokesman for the Conservative Party, Grant Shapps, has said that they would scrap the Home Information Packs (HIPs) “in a matter of weeks” after coming to power. He has said that it would be his first job should the Conservative party win the next general election.
This follows claims by some estate agents that the packs are impeding the housing market recovery, as the cost of a HIPs report commits the vendor to expenditure of, typically, some £400, even if they do not sell.
HIPs were first introduced by the Labour Party as a way of improving the buying and selling procedure, on 1st August 2007. Since then the UK’s housing market has slipped into a steep decline. However, property prices have generally slightly increased since April, one of the reasons being that there is not a lot of housing stock on the market.
The Conservatives do not have proposals to change Energy Performance Certificates, which have proved more popular with the market than other parts of the HIPs packs. These are considered by some as an important way of helping to meet European Union targets to reduce carbon emissions.
Mr Shapps also added that a Conservative government would raise the threshold at which stamp duty becomes payable to £250,000. This would inevitably help first time buyers.
One of the Managing Chartered Surveyors of www.propertysurveying.co.uk said:
“If HIPs are scrapped it will increase the supply of properties being brought to the market. An additional benefit to the property market as a whole will be the removal of a huge disincentive for prospective sellers to test the market by putting their houses up for sale. Due to the adjustment of the supply and demand balance this may slow down any house price rises that we have seen over 2009. However, it is also more likely to help fulfil existing demand and result in a greater volume of transactions.”