Sellers packs ‘cause sales to fall’

According to figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the number of four-bed and larger properties on the market decreased by around 37 per cent in August as the first phase of HIPs was introduced.

This was despite the number of houses for sale increasing to around 81 per agent, compared to a reported 45 in July.

HIPs for four-bed properties were introduced on 1 August, with three-bed requirements introduced on 10 September. It was assumed that four-bed home owners would register their homes as ‘three bedrooms with a study’ to beat the need.

Stewart Lilly, NAEA president, said: “The latest figures indicate that a period of low house price inflation may well be on its way. However, the recent introduction of the second phase of HIPs is likely to cause more disruption and in particular prompt a ‘wait and see’ strategy from individuals who are unsure about the full impact of the legislation.”

Simon Dunn, NAEA Yorkshire chairman, added: “Reports from estate agents in the region indicate that the market has slowed and while there was a flurry of new instructions towards the end of August, possibly to beat the introduction of HIPs on three-bedroom properties, sales levels seem to be slower.”

Karen Babington, sales and marketing director at Easier2move, said: “If you look back over the last eight years there is always a lull in the market during July and August. I do not believe HIPs caused the decline.”

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