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6 April 2010

Research claims Hips are not detrimental to housing market

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by Kay Mitchell

Research claims Hips are not detrimental to housing market

Home Information Packs (Hips), which have been criticised since their inception in August 2007, are not having a negative impact on the housing market, according to new research.

The claim comes just a couple of months after the Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP) said Hips are benefiting the housing market.

According to the Government, Hips were introduced to speed up the home buying and selling process.

However, the controversial packs have long been branded “a waste of time” and many believe they contributed to the fall in house prices that followed for many months after and many estate agents have frequently called on the Government to review the packs.

Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps has also been negative about the packs and has blamed them for slowing the property market.

If the Conservative party wins the next general election, it has pledged to scrap the packs “in a matter of weeks” after coming to power.

However, AHIPP is claiming that there has never been a correlation between the number of new properties put up for sale and the introduction of Hips.

Mike Ockenden, director general of AHIPP, comments: “The Conservatives have always made Hips the whipping boy for the decline of the market. Anyone with an ounce of sense would have known that it was the collapse of the banks and the following recession which forced the market to stagnate.

“I challenge Mr Shapps, particularly now that there is a start to the recovery of stock levels, to explain this? The data clearly shows that there is no correlation between the drop-off in new properties coming on to the market and the full roll out of Hips.

“In fact, the level of new instructions spiked for two months directly after the roll out, showing that other market forces and seasonal patterns were the influencing factors,” adds Mr Ockenden.

According to the Association, homeowners started to become wary of the property market in April 2007 – prior to the introduction of Hips, with the number of new homes marketed falling 25% by July of that year.

Furthermore, an Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by AHIPP revealed that 85% of people had not been deterred from selling as a result of the introduction of Hips.

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