Mortgage and housing market players have questioned the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs), as announced in the draft Housing Bill published last week.
Commenting on the launch of the rebranded Sellers’ Packs, Jeff Rooker, housing minister, said: ‘We have a ridiculous situation where key information needed by buyers and sellers is not available until after terms have been negotiated and agreed.
‘We are going to put this right by ensuring this key information is available up-front at the start of the process.’
However, this view was not shared. Mark Mountney, managing director of mortgage management company, PMN, was not keen on the proposals.
He said: ‘The purchase and sale market has a high failure rate and I am concerned that by putting more cost at the front end it will just create further stress.’
Mountney added he was worried this would lead to less people entering the market and felt it was: ‘Another incidence of government involvement in a market that did not need it.’
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) agreed.
Julie Westby, president for the NAEA commented: ‘HIPs is yet another nanny state policy produced by a Government with honourable intentions, but a complete lack of understanding as to how the housing market works.’
However, Peter Bruning, chairman of Bradford & Bingley surveying subsidiary Secure Move Property Services welcomed the move.
He said: ‘It will reduce frustration and bring greater certainty into negotiations.’
The Bill is expected to come into force towards the end of 2005.