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HIPs could trigger chaos in the housing market, says Stafford Railway

Stafford Railway is warning that new Home Information Packs could have a negative impact on the housing market by causing a sudden surge in properties for sale followed by a rapid decline.

HIPs will cost homeowners up to £1,000 per pack, which concerns Stafford Railway.

Mike Heenan, chief executive at the society, says: “The
packs could trigger a real imbalance in the number of homes on the market.

“For example, people with lower incomes may be unable to afford
the cost of the pack, delaying the listing of properties.

“Alternatively, people may rush to sell their properties before the
change in policy on June 1, 2007.

“On the other hand, cautious and inexperienced buyers, such as
first-time buyers, may hold back on purchasing houses until the new
packs are introduced.

“Either of these scenarios would seriously affect the supply and demand ratio, and resulting house prices.”

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has voiced its concerns over HIPs and
predicts that around 400,000 homes may remain off the UK market because
of the new system.

Heenan adds: “There is real uncertainty amongst consumers and the industry about whether HIPs will add any real tangible benefits.

“It seems absurd that increasing costs and paperwork during the sale of a property will effectively provide peace of mind or efficiency.

“There is already plenty of legislation in place to protect buyers,
which coupled with the widespread availability and professional
recommendation of structural surveys during purchase, seems to rule HIPs
as excessive.”

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