Thursday, 22 November 2007

HIP extention

Today it has been announced that Home Information Packs (HIPs) will apply to 1 and 2 bedroom properties from 14 December. "HIP Payment Services chief executive Jeff Smith says: "Today’s announcement will be greeted with much enthusiasm and relief from the industry, which has been tirelessly campaigning for HIPs to be fully extended across the whole market, since their extension to three bedroom homes back in September. He adds: “With speculation rife and various inaccuracies about the impact of HIPs on the market being banded around by the Tories and other anti-HIP groups within the industry, it was essential that the Government reaffirmed its commitment to packs and announced this final and vital implementation. “With HIPs fully rolled out across the market they will finally be able to bring about the many benefits they were initially designed to achieve – a faster, more transparent process which will aid a more informed buying decision.”"

What marvelous news for us all, HIPS are working so well that they can be extended. Of course all the spin from the HIPs chief exec and the latest government incompetent to deal with this matter cannot be allowed to hide the facts. Let's look at what the experts rather than the bureaucrats have to say.

This is the text of a press release from the National Association of Estate Agents.


Results indicate agents continuing to call for HIPs to be abandoned.

A survey of members conducted by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has produced the largest response ever to one of its surveys with over 1000 replies indicating what a contentious issue HIPs still are.

Over the past 10 days members were asked to compare the market this October to the same time last year. The results show that 83% of agents have found that requests for market appraisals have dropped with 9% of respondents finding a reduction of more than 50%.

When asked about the change in the number of instructions for 3 or more bedroom properties, a staggering 76% stated that they had seen decreases in excess of 10% of which 46% had seen a drop in excess of 30%. This compares with a much smaller reduction for 1 or 2 bedroom properties with 37% of respondents finding a drop of more than 10%.

Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive of the NAEA, comments: 'Clearly everyone accepts that there are a number of financial and economic factors that have caused the market to take a breather after 7 hectic years. However, these figures show that there is an anomaly between instructions on properties where a HIP is required and where one is not.'

He continues: 'I have heard of many examples where potential sellers have decided against putting their property up for sale because they do not want to risk wasting £300 or indeed much more, if they decide not to sell. It has been correctly stated previously that many sellers decided to 'beat the HIP' by marketing their property before August 1st 2007. It would therefore be reasonable to think that there would be a lull for a few months thereafter.'

The NAEA therefore asked members how available stock levels were year on year - 76% of the 1050 respondents stated that in October their stock was either the same or less.

Peter explains the significance of this: "At this stage of the market cycle, with sales slowing and normally a traditional autumn bulge in instructions, it would be normal to expect stock levels to be significantly higher. The fact that only 24% are saying that this is the case should worry the Government as this is just not normal. This once again appears to show the adverse effect HIPs are having on the market, the lives of consumers and indeed the overall economy."

The survey then went on to ask the question of 'What should happen to HIPs next?' The NAEA survey gave several options of ways to move forward including the full roll out of HIPs. However, only a tiny 6% felt that this was the right option with 76% stating that HIPs should be scrapped but Energy Performance Certificates should instead apply to all properties.

Peter says: "Despite the fact that agents have now had an opportunity to work with HIPs it is clear that the vast majority of respondents do not believe that they add value to the process and are finding it hard to get purchasers to take interest in them. We feel very sorry for the many Domestic Energy Assessors who are waiting for the opportunity to earn a living.

'As a result we again call on the Government to take into account the above evidence and to reflect on the potential increased damage to the market if they roll HIPs out across all properties. We would urge the Government to take the opportunity to review the situation and find a quick way of enabling the Energy Performance Certificates to be applied to all properties without the need for a HIP.'"

Do the government actually want the UK housing market to collapse? Maybe they have a secret plan that depends upon this happening.

Alternatively are they merely so thick and in thrall to the EU that they just blindly follow orders. The defence that "I was only following orders" was not an acceptable defence at the Nuremberg trials and similarly once order has been restored in this country it will prove to be no defence come the reckoning.

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