HIPs a ‘roadblock to ownership’

Ramesh Sharma

April 1, 2006

Following comments from the Shadow Prime Minister that HIPs are a ‘roadblock to ownership’, HIPs providers have been quick to respond. Paul Broadhead, deputy director-general of the Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPPs), said: “The Conservatives are wrong to say that HIPs will not improve the house buying and selling process and plain mad to state that they will not help first-time buyers – the group most likely to benefit the most from HIPs. With the responsibility for surveys and searches shifted from the buyer to the seller, the hidden additional costs of buying a home will be significantly reduced.”

He added: “It is unclear how the Conservatives would suggest replacing HIPs but their continuing unconstructive and misguided criticisms of the plans would indicate that they do not wish the housing market to evolve into an open and fairer system for all and would prefer that it remains in its current state – in desperate need of improvement.”

Stephen Nation, director of HIPs at Spicerhaart, agreed first-time buyers would benefit from HIPs. “David Cameron is misguided in proposing to axe HIPs in an attempt to help first-time buyers. Potential buyers struggling to raise the capital required to get on the property ladder will, in fact, really stand to benefit from the introduction due to the considerable cost savings they will make in upfront costs. Thousands of pounds could also be saved from a reduction in failed transactions as the condition of the property is exposed from the very outset.

“Most importantly, buyers will be better informed prior to putting in an offer on a property as HIPs will highlight any potential problems with the property upfront. The level of transparency will help reduce the number of failed transactions which could save buyers and sellers thousands of pounds.”

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