Shapps: Lack of trust condemned HIPs

The research, published by Ipsos Mori found that while over 90 per cent of people buying a house want information about its condition, fewer than one in six trust this information when it is provided by the seller.

Home buyers were ‘very concerned’ about the reliability of information they received from sellers, and over 75 per cent claimed they would only trust information from an independent surveyor that they had appointed. More experienced buyers preferred to use an informal inspection by a builder, plumber or electrician who they already knew rather than use a condition survey.

Mr Shapps said the research, which was commissioned by Communities and Local Government last year, showed that adding extra layers of regulation to improve the property market does not work.

The Housing Minister said:

"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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2 thoughts on “Shapps: Lack of trust condemned HIPs

  1. Simon Thomas

    All the information in a HIP is still used and trusted as most of it was before HIPs were introduced. The fact that buyers would prefer to commission their own surveyor, rather than use one paid for by a vendor is completely irrelevant, since no survey was included in the vast majority of HIPs. Shapps is either showing his ignorance or disinterest in the facts. He said he was scrapping HIPs to improve the market, and is using the fact that more properties were listed after the ban as evidence that he was right! He completely ignores the fact that fewer houses are selling, prices are dropping and mortgage availability remains the real problem. What is he doing to address real issues?

  2. Major Landlord

    Shapps was absolutely right to abolish HIPs. They started the housing slide. The HIP was a piece of ill-researched, time- and money-wasting legislation that never addressed the REAL reasons why sales fall through: people changing their minds, and chains breaking for various reasons such as inability to finance a purchase.

    HIPs were just another form of closet taxation, with the government taking around 60% of every fee in VAT, income tax and NI contributions. They also helped to boost employment figures, for as government anxious to conceal the awful truth that our real commerce and industry were (and are) going down the drain.

    To ask why there is no miracle recovery to the housing market now that HIPs have been scrapped, and then to seek to use that as a justification for not scrapping them, against all the evidence (including the poll on which this story was based) is utterly laughable – and typical of the self-serving, Labour-sponsored parasites who sought shelter and income behind the power-crazed Big Brother administration of which we have just divested ourselves.

    The only people who ever defended HIPs were those who produced them, and those (some major estate agents) who made profits from them. The rest of us knew they were a legalised scam.

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