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Scrapping HIPs gives mini-boost to housing market

The scrapping of Home Information Packs (HIPs) led to a slight but significant increase in the number of people putting their homes up for sale, according to researchers.

The Property Activity Index produced by Agency Express - the company that produces nearly a quarter of the UK’s house ‘For Sale’ signs - reported a 1.8% increase in new properties coming on to the market in the month following the abolition of HIPs on 21st May.

This was in contrast to Scotland which reported a 14.8% drop in new properties coming on to the market. Scotland has retained its version of HIPs which are called Home Reports.

The Managing Director of Agency Express, Stephen Watson, said: "The Property Activity Index data confirms what we all suspected - that HIPs were an unnecessary and inhibitive addition to the house sales process."

HIPs had been widely criticised since their introduction in 2007 and the decision to abolish them was broadly welcomed across the housing market. However, sellers should remember that they still have legal obligations when they put their home up for sale. For example, they still have to provide an Energy Performance Certificate which grades the property’s energy efficiency.

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