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August 27, 2008    

Slow house sales put Hip searches out of date

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by Gill Montia
Slow house sales put Hips searches out of date

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is demanding a review of Home Information Packs (Hips) because the slowdown in the housing market means that some of the packs are out of date before a property is sold.

The packs were intended to simplify and speed up the house selling process but the majority of estate agents opposed their introduction last year, in the current form.

The NAEA is now arguing that local searches should be withdrawn from Hips but that inclusion of the proposed Property Information Questionnaire would prove useful.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA, has warned that the need for government action is urgent.

He wants to see a simplified version of the pack, which would include the property questionnaire, an Energy Performance Certificate and the Land Registry title and plan.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is backing the call for change.

Its director of external affairs, Gillian Charlesworth, says that searches should be omitted from Hips so that buyers and their advisers can obtain them at the appropriate time during the transaction.

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