I contacted the Shadow Housing Minister, Grant Shapps MP, recently to ask him how quickly he will get rid of Home Information Packs if the Conservatives win power at the forthcoming General Election.
His reply was unequivocal. ‘They will be abolished within 100 days’, he said.
HIPs have blighted the property market since their introduction and have simply added to workloads but with no discernible consumer benefit whatsoever.
The only ‘positive’ report on their worth is one that Labour Ministers continually wheel out and that is the 2009 Connels survey which ‘showed’ that they speeded up transactions by a week.
What this single ray of hope for the HIP lobbyists fails to recognise is that 2009 saw property transactions at a level HALF that of 2007. And so it’s pretty obvious, with surveyors, lawyers and estate agents having less to do and with a desperate need for income, that sales will be pushed through faster in any case. Regardless of a document that offers nothing in valuable information to the home buyer and that is ignored by the vast majority of prospective purchasers. They have, however, raised about £100 million in VAT for the Treasury since 2007.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. HIPs are broken and they need replacing.
100 days cannot come quick enough….