Home Information Packs (HIPS) have been a feature of the residential property market for over two years now
but few people involved in the property sector would have raised much of a cheer for that particular anniversary.
Since their inception HIPS have not faired particularly well. It appears that there is no incentive for Estate Agents to put Packs in front of potential buyers and buyers themselves in the main are not asking for them. A lot of this is may be to do with negative media coverage, consumers are therefore not seeing them and so cannot make better informed decisions.
It is a similar story as regards the Energy Performance Certificate again the problem is that if consumers are not seeing the contents of the Pack then they are highly unlikely to action the Certificate’s recommendations.
The reaction of most of us engaged in conveyancing has largely been one of indifference if not hostility. The Home Condition Report seemed a good idea but when it was dropped, the remaining HIP was not really going to progress the transaction at all or give purchasers any real information. There are of course some Conveyancing Searches with the Pack but even now these are often out of date by the time Solicitors are instructed.
It remains to be seen whether HIP’s have a long term future in the property market.
Earlier this year the Office of Fair Trading launched a comprehensive study into home buying and selling. The aim is to establish whether consumers receive a good service and that the market is competitive innovative and well functioning. It remains to be seen whether the study will have any significant impact on HIPs.
A greater shadow over the Packs is the Conservatives stance. The Shadow Housing Minister has consistently said the party will scrap HIPs if they come to power.
We are probably all aware that over recent months there has been increased activity in the housing market but if HIPs are considered to have stood in the way of this revival one can expect many more calls for their withdrawal.
At Paul Finn Solicitors we ensure that all clients make the most of the information available when purchasing (or selling) their home, therefore you benefit from making informed decisions, For more information call, email or drop into our office.
Finally, if you are considering purchasing a property valued between £125,000.00 and £175,000.00 the Stamp Duty holiday introduced last December will end on 31st December 2009. To this date property transactions up to £175,000.00 will not be liable for payment of any Stamp Duty Land Tax. All property transactions that complete after that date in excess of £125,000.00 will be liable for 1% Stamp Duty. Higher rates apply for properties over £250,000.00. For more information call, email or drop into our office.