“After you’ve scrapped HIPs, what are your proposals to deal with the people who have paid to train as home inspectors?” I had asked.Cameron was keen to point out that as the Housing Act 2004 passed through parliament, the Tories had opposed HIPs vigorously. They’d even gained concessions including consultation with housing market professionals and a suspension clause so the measures can be dropped if the trials prove unsuccessful. And, of course they’ve pledged to scrap HIPs if they win the next general election. The government’s hope that HIPs will inject certainty and transparency into the home buying system and speed up the process finds no favour with the Tories. They don’t believe HIPs will be much of an improvement and reiterate the usual suspects in respect of why they won’t work. The packs don’t address the problems people buying and selling houses face. They won’t prevent offers falling through due to lack of finance on the part of buyers and they don’t introduce any measures regarding insurance for loss of fees. Instead they further benefit surveyors and solicitors, and represent a vast rise in state control over the property market which will make things worse rather than better. They say HIPs will create red tape and expense. This is a view expressed by shadow housing minister Michael Gove and endorsed by the Select Committee on the draft bill and the Local Government Association. Then there’s the cost – up to 1,000 for every seller. This will line the pockets of surveyors and inevitably be passed on to consumers. And this cost may not be a one-off, given the restricted shelf life of the surveys and valuations. Yes, but what about the people training to become home inspectors? Cameron says: “Our policy on HIPs is guided by what we believe will be best for the country. While we understand that individuals who wish to undertake training to become home inspectors will have invested time and money in the process, our principal aim is to ensure that millions of home owners around the country are not hit with yet another tax.” Hoorah! Not an ambiguous answer but it would make me think twice before shelling out my corn to train.
The business tracking service from the Exchange, owners of the Exweb adviser portal. is now live.12 firms of advisers are currently using the new service in a live environment as part of a gradual roll-out. The full launch, which will make it available to all participating Exweb users, will begin in the next couple of […]
House prices have shown their strongest rise for two years, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Speaking at the Mortgage Summit in Jerez today, Michael Lord, head of mortgage and credit unions at the FSA, says it is set to look at the issue of affordability, but already gets the impression that it is not going well.He says: One of our key points that we will be looking at is affordability. […]
The Royal Bank of Scotland says its first half results for 2006 are positive, with a boost in retail markets from consumers’ move away from unsecured loans to savings and investments.
Health Shield will be revealing all about its new benefits, employer support programmes and online rewards portal at Employee Benefits Live.
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