Hips provoke further discontent

Posted: 16 May 2006 09:23:05 GMT

            Property News - Hips provoke further discontent

The row over home information packs (Hips) shows no signs of subsiding, with the Building Societies' Association (BSA) now entering the fray.

At the BSA annual conference this week, it seems highly likely that some of Britain's biggest building societies will voice their concerns about Hips.

This is the view of GMAC-RFC, the UK's tenth largest lender, which claims that the impact on the housing market can only be negative.

According to recent research from the BSA, 84 per cent of building society chief executives believe that Hips should be voluntary.

Hips are set to hit the market in June 2007 but critics fear a surge in the number of properties on the market in the weeks and months immediately preceding this date, as people look to avoid the extra charges involved in preparing a Hip.

Stephen Knight, chairman of GMAC-RFC, said: "Bringing in an £800 'tax' for anyone putting a property onto the market fails to capture the point that, in general, buyers need to buy, but sellers don't need to sell. This could cause a significant jolt to supply and a reduction in the flow of second-hand properties in future."

The government maintains that the market will be benefit from the increased transparency and that fewer transactions will collapse once Hips are in full use.

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