HIPs 'have not hurt housing market'

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The Independent Online

Despite the Conservative Party warning of "heartache" for homeowners, the implementation of Home Information Packs (HIPs) has had no impact on the volume of properties coming on to the market.

The Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP) said the number of houses put up for sale more than doubled, to 202,044, between December 2007 and February 2008, directly after HIPs became compulsory.

While the recession and a fall in available mortgages dragged this down to 117,538 in February 2010, the figure is rising again. Mike Ockenden, director general of the AHIPP, said: "The data clearly shows there is no correlation between the drop-off in new properties coming onto the market and the full roll-out of HIPs." An Ipsos MORI survey for the AHIPP found that HIPs had deterred only 15 per cent of homeowners from selling.

But recent housing data has been unpredictable. Nationwide reported that house prices bounced back by 0.7 per cent last month. But mortgages approvals fell in March for the third consecutive month to a nine-month low.