View more on these topics

Only 40% of buyers see a HIP before they make an offer

The Department for Communities and Local Government’s annual report shows Home Information Packs still have their faults and many buyers are not seeing the packs until after an offer has been made.

Research by the National Audit Office cites Departmental found that 72% of sellers were satisfied with the HIP.

But only 40% of buyers saw the HIP for the property they were purchasing, with half of those seeing the HIP after making an offer, but 77% of buyers say the HIP had no effect on their decision to buy.

By March 2008 over 452,000 had been produced with the average cost of a HIP ranging from £300 to £350.

But the department says many HIPs could become out of date because of the current stagnant housing market.

Housing minister Margaret Beckett accepted that this was a matter of concern and assured us that the issue was being looked at with the relevant authorities.

Housing minister Margaret Beckett acknowledged that HIPs had their shortcomings: She says: “I fully accept that they are perhaps not the perfect vehicle one might wish to see.”

The report said that by October 2008, 10 months after scheme was introduced, 800,000 of the packs had been issued.

Responding to a suggestion that they were adding to the problems in the housing market, however, she went on to say that, while they may provide an efficient way of gathering information and cut short search time, they are “an absolute drop in the ocean; they do not affect the housing market.”

DCLG now admit that the mishandling of the introduction of the HIPs policy are now evident, in that DCLG is still struggling to perfect the scheme at a time when the housing market needs more robust and effective

The DCLG also admits that the government’s eco-town programme, even if successful will make no huge contribution to the very significant problem of housing supply.
It says the ambition described in last year’s Annual Report of a total of “up to 100,000 homes” looks highly unlikely to be achieved.


Tough on crime

As the old adage goes, you wait ages for a fraud case and then three come along at once. It’s been a long time coming but in the past 12 months the Financial Services Authority finally seems to have found its teeth when it comes to acting against fraudulent firms. It has begun cracking the whip and showing firms who’s boss by working closely with the police to prosecute fraudulent brokers.

Way to go

Last week the mortgage industry came together to celebrate at the Mortgage Strategy Awards, and despite the economic meltdown, a good time was had by all. But two industry stalwarts almost didn’t make it to the party.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up