The mortgage and housing industries have reacted with shock to the news that the Government has made Home Condition Reports voluntary as part of the Home Information Pack regime.
Many see the U-turn as a major blow to consumer confidence in the sellers’ packs, but some experts see the move as a positive one. The Government still insists Hips will become a reality on June 1, 2007.
Estate agency Spiceheart chief executive Paul Smith says: “Making the HCR voluntary is a complete cop-out. It diminishes one of the main objectives that the Hip is set out to achieve, reducing the number of failed transactions by improving the transparency. The Government has been once again completely ineffectual, bowing down to unsubstantiated and incorrect anti-Hip campaigns.”
Conveyancer Easier2move sales and marketing director Karen Babington says: “This announcement came as somewhat of a shock as the government has removed one of the fundamental features of Hips. This sudden change is also likely to damage the industry’s confidence.”
Council of Mortgage Lenders head of policy Jackie Bennett says: “We are pleased that the Government has recognised the considerable risks of a ‘big bang’ approach to introducing Hips with full HCRs. We have always said that the timetable was challenging for such a complex set of changes.”