This week, estate agents, mortgage advisors and many others welcomed the news that the coalition Government has scrapped the controversial HIPS (Home Information Packs).

The packs were suspended on the 21st May last week. HIPS were initially introduced three years ago in 2007, forcing property owners to purchase one before their property could be advertised for sale. Each pack cost approximately £300. Under the new rules, a property seller will only have to purchase an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which costs approximately £60, in accordance with European Law.

The HIPS were meant to reduce the chances of gazundering and gazumping. However, their introduction was met with criticism from many in the housing market, such as those in the building industry, estate agents and mortgage advisors who are inadvertently affected; they believed the HIPS only discouraged owners from selling their properties and claimed the HIPS were contributing to the housing crisis during a time of recession when stimulation was needed.

A number of estate agents believe the packs were of little interest to buyers, although some request to see the EPC.
Although HIPS ensured a vendor was serious about making a sale, helping estate agents minimise wasted marketing, others could not afford to speculate with the cost of a HIP.

This week, estate agents everywhere have seen an upturn in the number of requests for valuations already and there is expectancy in the air that the consignment of HIPS to the scrapheap could help to open the market up. Mortgage advisors and those looking to undertake CeMAP training to become a mortgage advisor will be pleased at the news.

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