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March 7, 2008    

Hips disregarded by purchasers

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by Gill Montia

An Ipsos Mori survey on the impact of Home Information Packs (Hips) has come up with disappointing results.

According to the research, which was based 3,118 Hips, 60% of purchasers were never shown a Hip on a property they were interested in buying.

In addition, around one-third of potential buyers believed the property they were viewing did not have a Hip when, in fact, it did.

Hips have been strongly opposed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and National Association of Estate because the packs do not include a property survey, which would contain the information potential purchasers most wish to see.

The introduction of the packs also led to a skewing of the property market, as vendors rushed to put their homes up for sale ahead of Hip deadlines.

At the same time it permanently removed large numbers of speculative vendors from estate agents’ books.

In addition, legal issues have arisen concerning the validity of local searches undertaken by Hip providers.

The survey found that only 37% of buyers agreed that Hips had made the purchasing process more efficient, while 41% disagreed.

The report concluded: “Given few buyers saw their Hip during the trials, it is perhaps not surprising the Hip had very little impact on their decision to purchase.”

Around 370,000 Hips, costing between £300 and £350 on average, have been provided since August of last year.

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