Posts tagged ‘election’

CONFIRMATION: Grant Shapps Housing Minister

Grant Shapps, the Conservatives’ former shadow housing minister,  has confirmed, via his twitter page last night, that he has been appointed Minister of State for Housing.

It is understood that the role no longer has Cabinet status and therefore, unlike his Labour predecessor, he will not attend Cabinet meetings.

Is this, coupled with the time it took to make the appointment, an indication as to where housing is on the list of priorities?

Let us know your thoughts below.

A full guide to Cabinet members can be found here.

About Grant Shapps

Previous positions held

MP for Welwyn Hatfield, May 2005 –

Vice-Chairman of Conservative Party Campaigning, Dec 2005 -

Shadow Minister for Housing, June 2007 – May 2010

Proudest political achievement

Founding the Conservative Homelessness Foundation

Interests outside of politics

Aviation (holds a pilot’s licence)

Family life

Married to Belinda

Three children: Hadley and twins, Noa and Tabytha

Information taken from the Conservatives website

May 14, 2010 at 8:01 AM 1 comment

CONFIRMATION: HIPs to be scrapped

UPDATE 20TH MAY

LINK TO NEW POSTHIPS SUSPENDED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have released a ‘Coalition Agreement’ document setting out the what has been reached between the two parties on a range of issues. In the document the following is buried towards the end under the Environment section pt 6 – a confirmation that Home Information Packs (HIPs) are to be scrapped and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) retained.

We have taken these screen shots from the BBC News website, but a full version of the document is available here.

HIPs are one of the first casualties of the new coalition government and this is positive news for the housing market. Sellers see them as an annoyance, buyers don’t ask to see them and solicitors often refuse to rely on the information they contain. In an environment where property transactions are still far too low, any additional expense that makes sellers think twice about putting their homes on the market is not welcome. The introduction of HIPs was full of good intentions – designed to speed up the home-buying process and prevent people pulling out of purchases further down the line. However, the packs were ultimately diluted to the point where buyers and mortgage lenders did not have the vital information they needed – such as a structural survey – and they’ve been on borrowed time ever since.

The retention of Energy Performance Certificates is an environmentally positive move, but it is possibly more about complying with EU directives on reducing carbon emissions, clearly a positive move, than helping home buyers and sellers. The new government should now consider replacing HIPs with a simple pre-sales pack to include local searches and a draft contract for sale only.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on how this might effect the market, speed up the sales process or simply have no benefit at all.

Leave a comment below or come and find us on Twitter.

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May 12, 2010 at 4:00 PM 63 comments


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