Are Home Information Packs Slowing The Market?

RICS survey reveals true extent of damage to property sales

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A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), published last week by The Sunday Telegraph, reveals the true extent of the damage HIPs are causing to the housing market.

Fifty-three per cent of chartered surveyors reported a drop in the number of four-bedroom houses put up for sale in August, compared with the same month last year. The average reported drop was 51 per cent - rising to 67 per cent in London.

According to industry experts, sellers are being put off by the cost of the packs which can be more than £600 and the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the new law.

Despite repeated warnings from estate agents, Monday 10th September saw the Government extend HIPs to include three-bedroom homes.

Christian Harper of Chiswick's Oliver Finn said “It seem that some sellers were in a panic to put their houses on the market before Monday. I did seven valuations on Sunday, six of them were 3 bedroom houses. I put all six onto the market with immediate effect so that they missed the midnight deadline."

He continued "If other Chiswick agents experienced the same then I fear that the introduction of HIPs has created a great deal of choice for buyers and thus create a situation were owners will be in heavy competition and thus will have to reduce prices to secure a buyer.

"I only see this as a short term glitch and once the market re-establishes itself HIPs will only be a good thing for both buyers and serious sellers.”

RICS spokesperson Jeremy Leaf sees things differently, "Unfortunately HIPs are having a detrimental impact on the housing market, something the Housing Minister assured us would not happen.

"Every region in the country is affected, and we fear that this will only increase as HIPs are rolled out to 3-bedroom properties.

"Blindly pressing on without having conducted any market impact study is hardly acting in the best interests of consumers."


September 13, 2007