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News: Agents angry with Shambolic HIPs

Fri, 23 Nov 07

Estate agents are calling for the Government to abolish HIPs...

This does not seem to be a possibility though, as the Government has doubled number of homes that will need one.

  • 70% of agents say HIPs are disrupting housing market
  • 84% want HIPs abolished altogether
  • HIPs cost sellers £350 on average
  • 93% of buyers do not rely upon the information in a HIP
  • First time buyers will suffer shortage of properties as small homes are dragged into the net
  • As the government announces the roll out of HIPs on all homes by December 14th, propertyfinder.com’s survey of 842 estate agents reveals just what a shambles the legislation has been so far.

HIPs, which are already compulsory in the home selling process for homes with three or more bedrooms, will be introduced on all homes from mid December.

70% of estate agents think that HIPs have disrupted business, and 84% of them want the legislation abolished altogether.  Instead the government is doubling the number of properties caught by the rules. 

Lack of awareness

Estate agents say that 51% of sellers do not know they need a HIP when they instruct the agent to market their property.  Furthermore, a fifth of this group of sellers are put off marketing their property because of the extra hassle and cost involved. 

This move is going to impact upon the very people Yvette Cooper has today pledged to help with affordable housing.  The people who live in one and two bed homes are on lower incomes and will be deterred by the extra £350 cost of a HIP (average cost across all agents surveyed).  The cost varies very little according to the size of the property so is a disproportionately large expense for smaller, less valuable homes.  This is likely to constrain supply of first-time buyer property. 

42% of buyers do not know what a HIP is and don’t find the information contained useful, whilst a further 51% know what a HIP is but don’t rely on it.  That is a massive 93% of buyers who find a HIP unhelpful - sellers are effectively paying £350 for nothing. 

Too much red tape

Warren Bright, chief executive of propertyfinder.com said: “Estate agents across the country can see HIPs are simply not delivering and want them abolished.  Sellers don’t know what they are and buyers ignore them.  Now this discredited scheme is being extended to all properties, the confusion will only deepen.

"For the government to be heaping new burdens on the property market at a time when it is already feeling some strain is beyond belief.The government should leave the housing market alone, not tie it up in red tape.”

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