Country houses for sale

HIPs ‘having adverse effect’

The introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) has had an adverse effect on the property market, and the majority of estate agents want the packs scrapped, and Energy Performance Certificates to become mandatory, according to a new piece of research.

The survey, conducted by the National Association of Estate Agents, produced a very large response. Respondents were asked to compare the property market now with that of a year ago, and the results showed 83% of agents found requests for market appraisals dropped, with 9% of those responding found a reduction of more than 50%.

The survey also found that there are now less three-bedroom properties coming onto the market since the Government brought houses with three bedrooms under the HIPs rule: 76% of agents said they had seen over a 10% reduction in properties coming onto the market since then, and as many as 46% had seen a drop of over 30%. There has also been a reduction in the number of one and two bedroom properties coming on to the market (for which HIPs are not currently required), but not as dramatic: the survey found 37% of respondents finding a drop of more than 10%.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA said: ?These figures show that there is an anomaly between instructions on properties where a HIP is required and where one is not.?

The survey also points out that with the seasonal slowdown in buyer interest there would normally be a surplus of properties on the market at this time of year, but this is not currently the case. ?This once again appears to show the adverse effect HIPs are having on the market, the lives of consumers and indeed the overall economy,? continued Mr Bolton King.

When asked what they wanted to happen to HIPs 76% of agents responding wanted HIPs to be scrapped, but that the Energy Performance Certificates, which measure the environmental efficiency of a house, should apply to all properties.

?Despite the fact that agents have now had an opportunity to work with HIPs it is clear that the vast majority of respondents do not believe they add value to the process and are finding it hard to get purchasers to take interest in them. We feel very sorry for the many Domestic Energy Assessors who are waiting for the opportunity to make a living.?

The NAEA then went on to call for the Government reflect on potential further damage rolling out HIPs to all properties in the UK could cause, and to stop the packs becoming a necessity, whilst ensuring Energy Performance Certificates are still required by vendors.