Supporters slam criticism of Hips

Posted: 04 Jul 2006 10:20:59 GMT

            Property News - Supporters slam criticism of Hips

A highly critical report on Home Information Packs (Hips) has been dismissed by supporters of the initiative, who claim that the findings are "simply nonsense".

According to Oxford Economics Forecasting, Hips have the potential to cause a ten per cent reduction in housing transactions, dent the UK economy by around £5.7 billion and lead to the loss of approximately 93,000 jobs during the first year after their introduction.

But these conclusions have been dismissed as spurious by Mike Ockenden, the director general of the Association of Hip Providers (Ahipp).

Mr Ockenden pointed out that a ten per cent reduction in property supply last year did not lead to significant unemployment and he suggested that this was evidence of the fact that last week's report was fundamentally flawed.

"The market has a very good habit of rebalancing itself … the market finds its own level, it has done for years, fluctuation of 20 to 30 per cent in transactions is quite normal from one year to the next," he said.

"I don't see ten thousands being put out on the street or indeed a £5 billion damage done to the economy," he added.

Explaining the fault-finding nature of the report, Mr Ockenden claimed that it had been commissioned by a mortgage firm that had an interest in discrediting Hips, adding: "I don't attribute it with any veracity at all".

Hips are set to be introduced on June 1st 2007 and public opinion on the scheme remains very much divided.

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