News: First-time sellers in the hard place

While Conservative Party policy and anti-Hip groups continue to campaign on the grounds that Home Information Packs will be bad news for first-time buyers, the National Association of Estate Agents has turned its attention to first-time sellers.

The NAEA says struggling first-time sellers are likely to be hit the hardest by the government plans to introduce Hips to the housing market in June 2007, according to their research.

Of those currently in the first time seller bracket (24 to 34 year olds), 76% said withdrawal costs incurred via the Hip would discourage them from putting their homes on the market. A massive 80% of respondents in the survey’s 16-24 age bracket also stated that such costs would, in theory, deter them from putting a home on the market.

Currently any home put on the market with an estate agent can be withdrawn from sale if it does not find a buyer, or the owners need to stay put for whatever reason without incurring any costs. From June 2007, when Hips are introduced, homeowners will have to pay the fee for their Hip when they remove their home from the market, regardless of whether the property has sold or not, says the NAEA .

Chief executive of the NAEA Peter Bolton King said, "Those on the lower rungs of the housing ladder clearly need all the help they can get in order to find their feet financially. This is the age at which children come along, and families are most likely to be looking for more space."

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