Further concerns raised over HIPs

The CML has insisted it is not anti-HIPs, but said it believes there is a serious danger that the government will miss the launch date of June 2007. While the BSA called for HIPs to be voluntary after a survey revealed 84 per cent of building society chief executives thought the packs would have a negative impact on the housing market.

Jackie Bennett, head of policy for the CML, told the Manchester Mortgage Business Expo: “This is the largest market intervention the government has ever done and is everyone ready for it? The risks are huge, not least the danger of missing the launch date. We must look at the unintended consequences and the CML is not convinced that the seller benefits will be realised.”

Meanwhile, Adrian Coles, the BSA’s director-general, told the organisation’s annual conference: “With so much uncertainty among consumers and the industry over how HIPs will work, making them voluntary will lessen any negative impact on the market and minimise the effect of any problems that may occur.”

Both organisations predicted the market would see a glut of properties prior to the introduction and questioned the tangible benefits for the introduction.

Andrew Seymour, chairman of Optoma Broker Solutions, said: “Of course it will have an affect to start with but when mortgage regulation came in, people thought it wouldn’t work but it has come in, happened and is here to stay.”

Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence, commented: “HIPs might take speculative sellers out of the picture and if they fall out of the market that will have an impact. Making HIPs voluntary is a half measure and the government doesn’t look like it is making a u-turn.”