House market up since Hips dumped

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The Independent Online

The number of homes being put on the market has risen by a third since the Government announced plans to scrap home information packs, an estate agency said today.

Countrywide, the UK's biggest estate agency, also said new instructions, which are up 68 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, are at levels last seen in September 2007, just before the credit crunch began and shortly after home information packs were introduced.

The Government announced on 20 May that the £300 packs, which aimed to speed up the home buying process by giving buyers more of the information they need up front, were scrapped with immediate effect. Robert Scarff, the managing director of Countrywide's estate agency division, said homeowners who were in two minds about putting their property on the market were now doing so.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests that property investors are considering offloading some of their holdings before capital gains tax is increased, from 18 per cent to an expected 40 to 50 per cent.