A new document has revealed that the coalition are going to scrap Home Information Packs.
UPDATED 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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