Country houses for sale

Government ‘misleading’ on HIPs

Government-commissioned research concluding that the introduction of HIPs has had no effect on the property market is flawed, says the NAEA

The Department of Community and Local Government’s (DCLG) latest update on Home Information Packs (HIPs), carried out by Dr Peter Williams of European Economics, says that there is no evidence showing that the packs have affected property transactions or prices.

The report said it ‘found no evidence of any impact on transactions, prices or mortgages, and the advice concluded that there were strong arguments for rolling out as planned, and further delay could cause greater uncertainties,’ although it also said it was too early to form an absolute conclusion.

Stewart Lilly, President of NAEA has now argued that this is surely reason enough not to go ahead with HIPs, and that the Government should wait and make sure of their impact on the market before carrying on regardless with the controversial packs.

He said: ‘It is disappointing that Dr Williams did not talk to the stakeholders nor take into account or discuss our recent members’ survey. I do not believe that a correct analysis of stock levels has taken place and there appears to be no attempt made to check listings of three or more bedroom properties against smaller ones which would, in our opinion, have shown a clear differentiation and proved that HIPs are affecting supply.’

Mr Lilly concluded by saying there may be a better way of making changes to the process of buying and selling houses than the current system: ‘It is a real pity that the Government has consistently refused to discuss real ways of improving the home buying and selling process,’ he said. ‘Contrary to what Government seem to suggest, agents are keen to see improvements, but HIPs are just not the answer.’