HIPs to be extended to all properties by Christmas

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The Government's controversial Home Information Packs (HIPs) will be rolled out to cover all properties by Christmas, it was announced today.

Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said the extension of the scheme to one- and two-bedroom properties from December 14 would help first-time buyers.

However, surveyors have warned that the extra cost of the packs for sellers could lead to fewer "starter homes" being put on the market.

HIPs came into force for homes with four or more bedrooms in England and Wales on August 1, and three-bedroom properties on September 10.

They aim to speed up the house-buying process by giving potential buyers more of the information they need upfront.