From Louise HansonIsabelle Kassam is keen to stress that Home Information Packs are an “expensive new layer of complexity” in the housing market (Mortgage Strategy 29 May), but fails to appreciate that they will undoubtedly make the house buying process more transparent and therefore more consumer-focussed. You wouldn’t expect to buy a car without seeing proof that it was in working order – an MOT fulfils that purpose. Similarly you shouldn’t expect to buy a house – the biggest purchase most of us ever make – without knowing upfront what its failings are. A HIP fulfils that purpose. The HIP is just one of several initiatives which will put consumers in a stronger position in the housing market including e-conveyancing and a mandatory redress mechanism for estate agents. All the information that will be included in the HIP excluding the Home Condition Report already has to be paid for once an offer has been made so this is not a new cost. It is simply giving buyers access to information upfront to help them make the right choices. A HIP will be paid for by the seller not the “cash-strapped home buyer”, meaning the buyer won’t spend money on a survey only to discover that their dream home has structural problems. And as most buyers are also vendors, the costs even out. While it’s not surprising that estate agents and others in the property industry have not welcomed HIPs, it is disappointing that the needs of consumers are being pushed to the sidelines. Louise Hanson Head of campaigns Which? London
- Top trends
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The Institute for Public Policy Research is one of Labour’s favourite think tanks and is pretty savvy when it comes to media management.
Brokers have held up the red card to research from Alliance & Leicester that claims Britons are more prone to stick to their lender rather than shop around for a better deal. A&L’s research shows that 85% of borrowers tend to stick to their financial providers, spurring the bank to make the analogy that borrowers […]
Over the past couple of years the inexorable rise of administration charges on the repayment of mortgages has been the subject of media coverage and annoyance among borrowers who find themselves stuck with significant fees when it comes to switching their mortgages.
What a difference six months makes. Speaking in September last year, we had warned of ‘excessive pessimism’ afflicting the market’s perception of India. Since then, responsible central bank policy from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), alongside improving global growth, has meant that India’s macro environment is strengthening quickly. The current account deficit has shrunk, inflation is falling and the government has embarked on a heavy dose of much needed fiscal consolidation. As a result, the rupee has been one of the strongest global currencies this year while the market has touched all-time highs, rallying by more than 20 per cent (GBP) since September. This begs the question: are we now in a period of ‘irrational exuberance’? Not yet.
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