Country houses for sale

HIPS ‘Threaten House Prices’

Mandatory Home Information Packs (HIPS) will come into effect in 2007, according to Government plans. But Estate Agent Savills has expressed concern about the new regulations, feeling the Government?s proposed timetable is too hasty. Rupert Sebag-Montefiore, Savills? Managing Director, claims that the Government has got to ?get this right? to prevent a sudden drop in property supply.

Although Savills agrees with the government?s plan to establish a voluntary ?dry-run? from next July, it worries that the full mandatory introduction is being rushed. ?A date for full implementation must not be set before we can be totally confident that sufficient Home Inspectors are available and the likely effects on house price levels are reduced as much as possible? Mr Sebag-Montefiore explains, ?To rush matters will be of no service to those buying and selling and it will be reckless of the Government to risk the adverse effects on the economy from the inevitable rise in property prices.?

Savills fears that the costs accompanying HIPs will discourage ?toe dippers? from putting their houses on the market, provoking a drop in supply of up to 15%. This sudden dip will inevitably lead to significant price rises and consequently have a negative effect on the rest of the economy. The forthcoming need for HIPs to include a Home Condition Report also raises considerable issues which Savills consider the Government has so far failed to address.

?The recruitment and training of Home Inspectors is proving slow,? Mr Sebag-Montefiore says, ?It is extremely unlikely that sufficient well-trained Home Inspectors will be in place by early 2007 and spread around the country in the right proportion to the geographical pattern of house sales. This will result in delays in getting HIPs prepared.?