Trevor Kent, the former president of the National Association of Estate Agents has slammed Yvette Cooper for her jibe that the Conservatives were becoming the “parliamentary spokesman for the NAEA”.
He says: “How dare Housing Minister Yvette Cooper stoop so low as to suggest her Tory Shadow counterpart Michael Gove MP is becoming the “parliamentary spokesperson of the NAEA.”
“As if the next government would make a major policy decision such as to scrap HIPs just on the say so of a single small professional body with a personal interest.
“Ms Cooper’s problem is that she has inherited from five previous housing ministers a chalice brim full of bile and prejudice and she’s not woman enough to grasp the nettle and tell her boss to drop the whole caboodle right now, before her brew poisons the whole of the property industry.
Her’s and her predecessors’ only policy continues to be to belittle all constructive criticism .”
Kent claims that the government has known since 1998 that the proposed Home Information Packs had been ruled as unworkable and unnecessary by every branch of the professional property industry.
He says John Prescott first sought votes by suggesting HIP introduction would ‘end gazumping’. Having been persuaded gazumping was a rare occurrence the government then suggested HIPs would be the saviour of the first time buyer.
He adds: “Apparently rampant property price inflation had nothing to do with first timers’ inability to buy, no it was the fact that sellers didn’t tell buyers what might be wrong with their houses, that was the problem!
“Thus Cooper’s gadereen rush to introduce HIPs and the turning of a deaf ear to warnings from The Law Society, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Council Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association, indeed just about everyone who knows what they’re talking about, not just the NAEA.
“The only support the government could find was from Which? the magazine publishers.
“To compliment its smoke and mirrors deception that HIPs will be good for us, the government even encouraged the creation of a ‘new industry’ – Home Information Pack Providers and gave their newly formed Association a leg up – to the extent of seeing one of their own staff (already provided to the then ODPM ‘on secondment’ by HBOS) joining as deputy director general.
“I suggest Cooper looks to her own house before changing the way others sell theirs.
“HIP introduction on June 1 2007 will lead to property market melt-down of undreamed of proportions and produce 3m very disgruntled voters in each and every year ’till the Tories do the sensible thing.”