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Thursday 13th of September 2007

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Hips extended to three-bedroom homes


by Gill Montia
September 10, 2007
”Hips

Home Information Packs (Hips) are now compulsory for those selling three-bedroom homes in England and Wales.

The packs were introduced for four-bedroom homes at the beginning of August, amid a great deal of controversy.

They were originally designed to improve and speed up the process of buying and selling a house, but have been opposed by estate agents and surveyors.

The process of introducing Hips began 10 years ago and after a series of regional trials the Department of Communities and Local Government, which administers the scheme, abandoned the idea of including a home condition report, which was once seen as central to the pack.

In addition, problems have arisen with some mortgage lenders with regard to the local searches included in the packs.

In August, the Law Society asked its members to warn their clients about Hips that contain personal searches, rather than official searches.

The Law Society maintains that personal searches, such as those carried out by Hip providers, are at risk of containing erroneous information.

The extension of the scheme to three-bedroom homes means that 60% of the UK housing stock is now covered by Hips.

Supporters of the scheme say that its introduction has gone smoothly but according to a report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the number of four-bedroom properties coming onto the market in August more than halved.

In a survey of its member, 53% of respondents indicated a decrease in the number of four-bedroom, or larger properties, coming onto the market during the month.

Those respondents recording a fall in larger homes on the market found that new instructions fell by 51%, on average.



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