HIPs required for three-bed properties

The move brings over 60 per cent of the UK property market under the legislation, with most commentators predicting that all residential properties put up for sale will need a pack by the end of the year.

Pro-HIP parties have welcomed the extension to three-bedrooms, yet those who have campaigned against the packs have maintained their opposition; continuing the partisan nature of the topic.

Dominic Toller, director of marketing and new business at LMS, said: “Although the full benefit of HIPs will only be felt when every part of the property chain has a pack, this latest roll-out represents the greatest tranche of properties in the market, at around 43 per cent. We now call on the government to announce when the complete roll-out of HIPs will take place.”

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, commented: “Our concerns have always been that the introduction of HIPs would lead to a lack of supply following implementation. This does indeed seem to be the case with four-bedroom homes and is now likely to be replicated in the three-bedroom homes market. The next few months will prove crucial in seeing whether HIPs are going to cause the sort of problems we feared.”

The extension of the packs comes six weeks after they became compulsory for properties with more than four bedrooms and providers have recorded a steady take-up.

According to figures from the Communities and Local Government, the average HIP has taken five days to complete and costs around £300, plus VAT.

The government body found the average energy efficiency rating homes were getting under the Energy Performance Certificate was an ‘E’, although improvements such as cavity wall and loft insulation, double glazing and putting thermostatic valves on radiators would usually put this up to a ‘C’ rating.

It also recorded that 85 local authorities had reduced the cost of compiling searches, with some falling by over £100.

In an exclusive article for mortgageintroducer.com, Tom Parker, managing director of Quest Associates, believed that the majority of mortgage brokers had adopted a wait-and-see approach to HIPs since 1 August.

However, he believed that the introduction of three-bedroom HIPs would see brokers move to acquire a HIPs capacity.

Parker explained: “From what we can see, many intermediaries have taken a step back and have been keeping a watchful eye on the progress of HIPs; assessing who has moved into the market to provide the packs, gauging customers’ viewpoints on the initiative and generally monitoring the impact HIPs are having on the property market.

“For those that are yet to act and incorporate HIPs into their businesses, we believe the time is right to consider the options, to not only generate additional revenue but to help ensure you stay one step ahead of estate agents. This is an ideal time to provide clients with valuable information on developing a HIP for their home, while also researching into their mortgage options.”

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