Posts tagged ‘HIPS’
Following on from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats releasing their ‘Coalition Agreement’ document on 12th May which confirmed, under the Environment section (pt 6), that “Home Information Packs (HIPs) are to be scrapped and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) retained” mass confusion set in and home owners, agents, Lawyers and HIP providers each reacted in their own way – some of the comments can be read here.
Well, the Government has acted pretty quickly (eight days) and fulfilled their manifesto and confirmed today that HIPS have been suspended. This was announced at a press conference held at Bullman Booth estate agents in Battersea, London.
Full press release on Communities and Local Government website.
CLG Secretary of State Eric Pickles said:
“HIPs are history. This action will encourage sellers back into the market and help the market as a whole, and the economy recover.”
Housing minister Grant Shapps said:
“This is a great example of how this new Government is getting straight down to work by cutting away pointless red-tape that is strangling the market. Rather than shelling out hundreds of pounds for nothing in return we’re stripping away bureaucracy and letting home owners sell their properties.
“But we’re also showing our commitment to a greener housing market by keeping Energy Performance Certificates and making them more relevant in helping buyers make informed decisions on the energy costs of their new home.”
Here’s our comment on the situation from our Commercial Director, Nick Leeming. Do let us know your thoughts on the situation using the comment box below.
“There were serious concerns that a delay in the scrapping of HIPs would harm the housing market by deterring would-be sellers from putting their homes on the market. But the government has responded quickly and the imminent suspension of HIPs will banish any second thoughts from homeowners. The writing was always on the wall for HIPs. The packs did not contain all the key information buyers and solicitors would need and sellers were always reluctant to incur additional costs – particularly during the economic downturn when there was no guarantee of a sale completing. The inevitable job losses are unquestionably a bitter blow for those who paid considerable amounts to train as home inspectors. The hope is that the demise of HIPs will boost the housing market recovery and, in turn, create further employment in the sector.”
UPDATE 20TH MAY
LINK TO NEW POST – HIPS 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.
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.
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