Government to go ahead with HIPs changes
Wednesday 25th March 2009
The House of Lords has heard that the Government intends to continue with HIPs despite the recession.
Lord Dixon-Smith asked whether, in view of current housing market conditions, the Government would abandon the requirement for HIPs.
He said: “Seventy-four per cent of the people who buy houses – these are the Government’s figures – take no notice of Home Information Packs in their purchase deal and it is an inhibiting factor from the point of view of the vendor.”
He said that a flood of legislation had been passed in the last ten years assuming that prosperous times would continue, and that HIPs were a classic.
But CLG minister Baroness Andrews said that housing market conditions were caused by the economic downturn and had nothing to do with HIPs.
She insisted that HIPs had no effect on levels of house purchases and that abandoning HIPs would not help the housing market. She refused to consider aborting the April 6 changes to the HIPs regime.
She said: “Abandoning the forthcoming changes on HIPs, which are intended to consolidate the regulations and provide industry with certainty and stability, would not help that process. I am delighted to say that, despite the current difficulties facing the housing market, a recent survey of 16,000 transactions by a leading estate agent, Connells, showed that, where a HIP was available, exchanges were completed on average six days quicker.”
Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Hamwee asked if the Government had any evidence as to what would be the effect of requiring a HIP from the first day of marketing. She said she could not find any research.
Baroness Andrews replied that the research said that HIPs needed to be seen by consumers but that estate agents had not been showing them to buyers and sellers.
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