Estate agents ‘still unaware’ of HIPs

Ramesh Sharma

April 15, 2006

The online conveyancer’s ‘HIP Awareness Index’ showed the number of agents still unaware of HIPs, only 14 months before their introduction, is still relatively high at 13 per cent. However, this is less than the number of agents claiming to be unaware this time last month, when 17 per cent admitted not knowing what a HIP was.

Karen Babington, marketing director at Easier2move, commented: “It is important that estate agents are educated about HIPs as they will have a major role to play in the sale of them when they go live in 2007. That 13 per cent of estate agents still unaware of HIPS is worrying, and steps must be taken to build awareness.”

The research also revealed that nearly half of estate agents do not believe HIPs will have a positive impact on the first-time buyer (FTB) market.

The help HIPs would provide to FTBs was a major crux behind the government’s argument for the legislation, but 48 per cent of agents feel their introduction will see the seller add the cost onto the asking price, increasing the amount needed for FTBs to find to make their first house purchase.

Babington added: “It is concerning to see that almost half of agents see HIPs as something that will not help FTBs get on the property ladder. We hope that, now the implementation timetable has been put in place, estate agents will spend more time and resource on improving awareness of HIPs within their offices and this view will gradually change.”

Mark Loydall, director of Cambourne Financial Planning, also believed HIPs would not help FTBs. He said: “I can’t see them making a big difference to the market in my opinion. They will probably end up pushing prices up so that won’t help anyone.”

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