Spicerhaart says first-time buyers look set to benefit with considerable cost savings with the introduction of Home Information Packs in June 2007.
Despite first-time buyer levels falling below 30% in 2005 from a high of 45% in 2000, Spicerhaart estimates a 15% increase of sales transactions once HIPs come into play.
Upon putting a house on the market, the seller will have to purchase a HIP, containing information on local authority searches, environmental searches and a home condition report. By producing key information on properties, which previously buyers had to pay for themselves, they will save first-time buyers up to 1,000 and provide a strong incentive for getting a foot on the property ladder.
The government has proposed to introduce HIPs to streamline and simplify the lengthy home buying and selling process by making it more transparent, with details of a property being made available prior to a sale. The level of transparency will help reduce the number of failed transactions which could save buyers and sellers thousands of pounds.
Stephen Nation, director of HIPs at Spicerhaart, says: Although we are seeing signs of first-time buyers returning to the market this is no way near the level we anticipate. First-time buyers really stand to benefit from the introduction of HIP. Currently buyers are footing the bill if there is anything wrong with the property but the onus is now on the sellers. First-time buyers, who currently face pressure on affordability, will not have to struggle to raise the extra finance on local searches and surveys which has been a stumbling block for many. With the availability of 100% mortgages, HIPs provide a very real incentive for buyers to return to the market.
Nick Raynsford, former housing minister and chairman of the National House Building Council agrees first-time buyers will benefit from the proposed introduction of HIPs. He says: In the long term it will give much greater certainty to buyers and will help first-time buyers, who are currently facing the greatest difficulties and will certainly benefit the most.