Are HIPs Deterring Sellers and Stunting Recovery?

NAEA believes number of sellers would double without them

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Home information packs (HIPs) are deterring homeowners from putting their property up for sale, stunting market recovery, some estate agents believe.

A survey of members by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) revealed that one in ten agents believed that the number of people selling would DOUBLE if HIPs were taken off the market.

A fifth of all agents believed that the number of sellers would increase by 20 – 25 per cent. And a staggering 91 per cent of agents were adamant that customers paid little or no attention to the controversial packs anyway. In April, the average estate agent had 67 properties available to sell, compared with 84 in April 2008 and 100 in December.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said, “The housing market has seen a number of positive signs in 2009, particularly an increased demand for property and more sales being completed.

“However this will be unsustainable without a steady supply of housing. HIPs are controversial and in the NAEA’s opinion, relatively useless. That is bad enough, but these figures suggest that professional agents believe that they are actively harming the market."

"Absolute rubbish!" says Oliver Finn's Christian Harper who believes the NAEA are trying to get HIPs abolished without really considering the advantages of the scheme.

"I see HIP’s as a benefit for buyers as all the information is provided up front and reduces the risk of a fall through later down the process. It's frustrating being told by buyers that they had building regulations in place when obtaining offers only for the buyer to find out in searches.”

"My biggest problem with HIPs is that the local authority knew that they were being launched and earn a fantastic income from the searches – why do Hounslow, for instance, have a backlog of providing the searches?"

June 30, 2009