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Tory homebuying review

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 21-May-08 01:05:41 PM

Tory shadow housing minister, Grant Shapps, has renewed calls to abolish the Home Information Pack (HIP) in a somewhat contradictory comment to the FT Adviser today.

Following an industry feedback session - held as part of the Tories homebuying review which kicked-off in December 2007 - he said: "I have renewed the call for Hips to be scrapped, particularly in light of the current market turmoil, which means that Hips and excessive stamp duty for first-time buyers are making it more cumbersome and more expensive than ever to buy and sell a house."

Yet in the preceding paragraph of the report, Mr Shapps is quoted as saying: "The thing that came through very clearly from the session was that if we could speed up the time it takes to buy and sell a home, so that rather than taking months it takes weeks between the time people agree a sale and exchange takes place, then we would save something like £339m a year."

Speedier exchange of contracts - Connells

Clearly, Mr Shapps wasn't listening to Roger Wilson of estate agent, Connells, then. He told how a sampling of 4300 home sellers, taken between 2 August 2007 and March 2008, revealed that those with a HIP, on average, exchanged contracts 12 days earlier than those without.

Rename the HIP - AHIPP

According to the same report, Mike Ockenden - director general of AHIPP - thinks the moniker, 'Home Information Pack', should be renamed as it has been tarnished by the media. He wants a more sexy name:

"I wish we could call them something else, maybe buyers information dossiers or [sic]. It is down to what the media have said about them as it is the name that is tainted not the product."

[emphasis mine]

Do never become a brand manager, Mike. ;) - "I wish we could call Hips something else" - Ahipp

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Posts: 3
Re: Tory homebuying review
Reply #1 on : Thu May 22, 2008, 11:40:15
Clearly the Tories are playing the same old game of dogma politics:
"HIPs have been shown to speed up the house selling process, but we don't care because we are such an intransigent bunch of old buffoons, so we are calling for them to be scrapped".
Well done Shapps, play to the gallery and ignore the facts.

Posts: 3
Reply #2 on : Thu May 22, 2008, 13:59:54
I'm not a DEA but do feel there is merit in having an EPC available atcommencement of marketing however the rest of a HIP is not needed at the outset. In my view the remaining HIP information should be commissioned once a Memorandum of Sale has been issued and be available to the buyers within say 21 days. This has a number of advantages 1)A property can be launched on the market without delay. 2) The seller only needs to expend money ( other than on an EPC) once a buyer has been found. 3) Time relevent items such as searchs will not, as is possible now, be out of date. 4)Surveys and Mortgage Valuations should be undertaken in the same 21 day period. 5)Should a transaction fall through then the HIP remains valid and will be available to a new purchaser immediately.
Posts: 2
Re: Tory homebuying review
Reply #3 on : Thu May 22, 2008, 17:00:40

It would certainly appear that Shapps has selective hearing but we have to be mindful that the media have selective reporting also.

John M:

HIP providers may not like your suggestion in its totality but it's a compromise approach possibly worth considering. I think the main argument against would be how HIPs can - and have - exposed Title problems upfront, before they thwarted exchange of contracts.

And then there's the politicians current favoured group of dispossessed of the year: first-time buyers.

Posts: 3
Tory Home Buying Review
Reply #4 on : Fri May 23, 2008, 09:39:27
Admin- I note your comment regarding Title problems. If there are title problems in say 1 in 10 cases then clearly this is a serious issue however if it is a case of 1 in 10,000 then it is a minor issue as far as the overall market is concerned.It would be interesting to know if any reliable statistics are available as to the percentage of properties that have been found to have title problems in relation to the number of HIPS carried out.

The real issues affecting first time buyers are not HIPS or EPCS but the high price of property and the dearth of mortgage funds since the credit crunch began.
Posts: 2
Re: Tory homebuying review
Reply #5 on : Fri May 23, 2008, 12:59:59
I agree, John - It would be interesting to see the stats.

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