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Hips hammer house market

Over three-quarters of estate agents say the number of instructions for properties with three or more bedrooms has fallen by more than 10 per cent since the introduction of home information packs.

The National Association of Estate Agents says 76 per cent of its members have seen double-digit drops, with 46 per cent of those seeing a fall of over 30 per cent.

By comparison, 37 per cent of NAEA members have seen a drop in instructions of over 10 per cent for properties with one or two bedrooms.

NAEA chief executive Peter Bolton King says the figures show there is an anomaly between instructions on properties where a Hip is required and where one is not. He says: “I have heard of many examples where potential sellers have decided against putting their property up for sale because they do not want to risk wasting £300 or more if they decide not to sell.”

Estate agent Spicerhaart says where offers have been accepted on three and four-bedroom properties, only 10 per cent of buyers bothered to read the pack before making their offer.

Spicerhaart chief executive Paul Smith says: “Hips are an absolute waste of time, viewed overwhelmingly as an irrelevance and an unnecessary cost.

“Our figures show a complete rejection by buyers. The Government should preferably scrap Hips immediately and the whole debacle should be written off as a mistake. This would help to restore consumer confidence.”

Seventy-six per cent of NAEA members say they feel Hips should be scrapped and energy performance certificates should instead apply to all properties.

Bolton King says: “We again call on the Government to take into account the evidence and to reflect on the potential increased damage to the market if they roll out Hips across all properties.”

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