haart: HIPs to help first time buyers

10 March 2006
The introduction of home information packs (HIPs) to the homebuying process will bring back first-time buyers, one expert claims.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart estate agents, predicts that sales transactions will increase by 15 per cent post HIPs, as fewer fail to go through and potential buyers are spurred by the possible cost savings.

Home information packs are designed to provide the buyer with more information about the condition of a property at the beginning of the sales process.

Paid for by the seller, however, they could save first time buyers between £600 and £1,000 in surveys they would otherwise have had to fund themselves.

"However, most importantly buyers will be better informed prior to putting in an offer as HIPs will highlight any potential problems with the property upfront," said Mr Smith.

"The level of transparency will help reduce the number of failed transactions which could save buyers and sellers thousands of pounds."

One of Labour's manifesto pledges in 1997, HIPs are now set to come into force from June next year.

The documentation will include planning searches and an energy audit as well as a general overview of the property's condition.

However, those against HIPs argue that the market will be disrupted as people rush to sell properties before the legislation is introduced and are deterred from doing so afterwards.

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