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September 14, 2008

Government announces changes to Hips as housing market continues to slow

Permalink: Government announces changes to Hips as housing market continues to slow
by Kay Mitchell

Government announces changes to Hips as housing market continues to slow

The controversial Home Information Packs have long been the subject of criticism since they were introduced over a year ago and have been branded a waste of time, according to a recent survey by YouGov.

Last month, the National Association of Estate Agents called on the Government to review the packs in a bid to help the struggling housing market.

According to reports, in London, the South-East and the South-West, less than one home per week is being sold by estate agencies.

The Government has now announced that with effect from October, the validity of energy performance certificates, a key part of the packs, will be extended from one to three years.

Commenting on the change, a spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), said the three-year validity of Energy Performance Certificates will provide the increased flexibility that many sellers were requesting.

The DCLG have long defended the packs and continue to say consumers are benefiting from the packs in assisting families reduce their fuel bills and carbon emissions.

The new measure is announced after a report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) revealed that the housing market is showing signs of being ‘virtually paralysed’.

Rics said house sales continued to fall during August and are at their lowest level since its monthly survey started 30 years ago.

A Hip costs sellers around £350 and contain title deeds and an energy performance certificate. Local searches are a requirement in the packs, however, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), they are out of date by the time a property is sold.


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