The Association of Home Information Pack Providers has come out this week in opposition to the many in the property industry that say that HIPs have killed off the speculative seller and therefore have harmed market liquidity.

AHIPP say that their research demonstrates that there is ‘no correlation between instruction volumes and HIPs’.

Here’s the article http://www.financemarkets.co.uk/2010/04/06/hips-get-all-clear-on-influencing-sales-volumes/

The thing is, a body that is set up to speak on behalf of HIP providers is pretty likely to scour around for ‘evidence’ that suits their standpoint in support of their very existence. After all, you wouldn’t expect the British Meat Processors Association to announce that too much red meat might be bad for you. Or the Mobile Operators Association to declare that phone masts give you cancer.

So, AHIPP’s boss Mike Ockenden uses data from a mere two months after HIPs were introduced and a couple of months before hand in a thin attempt to prove that their existence does not deter the seller. The fact is that the Government did such a lousy job of promoting HIPs that in that initial period people simply did not know that they existed and therefore commited to selling anyhow and b) many estate agents offered HIPS on a no sale-no fee basis or even free in the first instance and so the cost thing could not have been a significant aspect anyhow.

Two months either side of Home Information Packs being brought into existence is hardly a study in detail.

Ockenden also says that at only £200 to £300, HIPs are not so expensive as to put people off.

But that misses the point. 

Now that HIPs must be in place before a home is marketed it is not just the price of them and the realisation that it is a lot of money for very little in return that is a deterrent. But more so it is the delay that is also putting people off in having to wait up to two weeks before they can begin to find a buyer, especially when they themselves may be in a hurry because they have found a property to trade up to already. The very essence of spontaneity is that any obstacle is enough to prevent that impulse and it may be that as much as 25% of the property market is created from such whims and fancies. That 25% has now largely evaporated.

As for speeding up sales, the ONLY ‘evidence’ of such is a flawed report by Connells which is simply testimony to the fact that transactions go through slightly faster currently because lenders, surveyors, lawyers and agents are dealing with fewer sales and therefore have more time to spend on each.

Mr Ockenden. It’s plain that you have a vested interest here and so any scraps of supporting fact that you muster in support of the waste of time and money that HIPs are, must surely be seen with the same scepticism as the packs themselves.

We should remain very unconvinced of their so called benefits therefore.

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