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Shapps brands HIPs “foolish”

Housing minister Grant Shapps says home information packs were a “foolish” way to try and improve the property market.

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Schapps statement follows the release of research conducted on behalf of the Communities and Local Government showing the majority of people ignored HIPs. The packs allowed a potential buyer to see important documents free of charge before they made an offer.

The new Government scrapped HIPs within days to help the property market during the recovery by reducing the cost of selling a home. The end of HIPs has already seen a jump in the number of properties being put on the market. Communities and Local Government estimate scrapping HIPS will save consumers an estimated £870m over ten years.

The research shows that despite over 90 per cent of people saying they would like information about a house before they purchase, fewer than one in six trust the information when it is provided by the seller.

Schapps says: “It was always obvious that HIPs were deeply unpopular with people selling homes because they created needless cost and hassle. What is now clear is that people buying homes didn’t rate them either.

“People who buy and sell homes want to know more about their condition, but forcing them to swap bits of information they don’t want or trust is a foolish way to try and improve the property market.

“That’s why in future this information will be provided on a strictly voluntary basis. We will allow the housing sector to develop products that include the information consumers actually want, and that they can rely on when buying a home.”

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