HIPs to boost FTB numbers by 15 per cent

Ramesh Sharma

February 4, 2006

With FTB levels at their lowest since 1980 and property prices continuing to rise, the estate agent believes HIPs will help save up to £1,000 in costs, such as local authority reports and Home Condition Reports (HCRs), which they would otherwise have to foot themselves.

With the government also claiming HIPs will make the house-buying process easier, Spicerhaart is expecting FTB demand to rise by as much as 15 per cent in the wake of the HIPs scheduled live date of 1 June 2007.

Stephen Nation, director of HIPs at Spicerhaart, said: “FTBs, who currently face pressure on affordability, will not have to struggle to raise the extra finance on local searches and surveys which has been a stumbling block for many. With the availability of 100 per cent mortgages, HIPs provide a very real incentive for buyers to return to the market.”

However, despite Spicerhaart’s confidence, Jonathan Cornell, technical director at Hamptons International Mortgages, is one of a number of brokers who are sceptical about a wave of new FTBs in the market.

He said: “HIPs will benefit FTBs but there is currently a lot of hype being placed on them by those who are in a position to benefit. My concern is there will not be enough home inspectors by live date and those that are there, lenders will not trust their HCRs and will get their own people to carry out another valuation. What we need are meaningful trials for HIPs to see if they will work.”

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