Attack on Hips by the NAEA
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by Kay Mitchell
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has called government research into the launch of Home Information Packs (Hips) into question.
Last month, the government issued a report by Dr Peter Williams of the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU) which said it found ‘no evidence of any impact on transactions or prices’ from the launch of Hips.
The government used this evidence as the grounds for its decision to extend Hips to all properties in England and Wales on 14 December saying that ‘further delay could cause greater uncertainties’. However, the credibility of this research is being questioned by the NAEA.
NAEA president, Stewart Lilly, said the main conclusion is that there was no evidence to show that Hips were affecting transactions or prices and the market slow-up was due to the economic and financial situation.
Mr Lilly continued that it was accepted that Hips must have had some impact, although it is really too early to be certain. This begs the question of how a decision to proceed can therefore be made. In addition, the roll-out of Hips had not gone to plan said the NAEA.
Hips were launched on August 1 to include properties with 4-bedrooms or more and rolled-out to include 3-bedroom properties on September 10. Hips have been continuously subject to heavy criticism since they were introduced.
Originally, it was planned that Hips would include all properties from the start but this became impossible following a lack of shortage of energy inspectors.
The NAEA also declares that it is ridiculous to say that Hips will make the house buying process much quicker.
Just last week, Rightmove said the full roll-out of Hips has had an affect on an already slowing market as the website’s latest survey of asking prices showed a significant decline from an average of Â£239,986 in mid-November to Â£232,396 this month.
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