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CML: Costly Hips may not work

23 February 2007
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has called for the introduction of 'home information packs' (Hips), scheduled for June, to be set back, claiming it is not clear that they will help homebuyers choosing their future house.

After revisions to initial government plans which would have had the packs subsidised by estate agents, they are expected to cost every homebuyer between £400 and £800.

The packs will contain an assessment of the energy efficiency of the home from its previous owners as well as lease documentation.

But "there is no clear evidence that Hips will solve the problems" of slow home-buying and the large number of home purchase arrangements that fall through, commented CML's head of policy, Jackie Bennett.

And the CML has pointed out that it is not at all certain that homebuyers will choose to pay for them, given that in pilot roll-out areas such as Cambridge, only 60 per cent of homebuyers have requested a 'home condition report', despite the fact that government has been subsidising them.

In future, homeowners who would have to dole out hundreds of pounds for the packs themselves may prefer to do without.

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