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Introduction Of The Hip

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Thought I'd start a new thread...

I'm in the same boat as everyone else, youngish professional who cannot afford to buy. The conservatives are against these packs. Suddenly they're pretending to care about the first time buyer. Interesting, given that they didn't give a toss about people like us when they were in government. Here is a copy of the letter I sent them. I'm just doing this so you are informed that the arguments they are making are completely incorrect as the public seem to hold Kirstie Alsop in such reverence and she has teamed up with the Tory party to slate them, along with the likes of estate agents. Suddenly I'd rather be with John Prescott on this one!

Dear Mrs Spelman,

I write to you concerning the mandatory introduction of Home Information Packs as of June 2007 and your uninformed stance on their introduction.

I am not a “property professional” with vested interests, but a school teacher, and potential first time buyer. I am struggling to afford a house anywhere, quite simply due to the shortage of housing stock available.

Your argument that first time buyers will not be able to afford to “absorb” the costs of a HIP is quite incorrect. The first time buyer is free from a chain and, with nothing to sell, does not need to spend money providing a pack. Indeed the packs are likely to be far less expensive than the £1000 you quote due to the smaller size of property likely to be purchased by a first time buyer.

Furthermore, the HIP would include a Home Condition Report. This unbiased report would highlight housing defects and delve beyond the flowery waffle of estate agent speak. It would give me an indication of where I would need to spend what little money I do have left, rectifying faults and budgeting for repairs. The cost in real terms of having to put those little “niggles” right can realistically exceed the cost of the HIP and therefore, even with the house price itself increased, it is still outstanding value.

Your office are paying lip service to those struggling on average incomes. This is a solution that will benefit those who cannot afford to make a single mistake with their purchase. An unexpected £500 repair bill, for example would make a huge difference to my quality of life. Your “celebrity” ambassador, Kirstie Allsop (who has no real idea of how much of a struggle it is to be a first time buyer) seems to be concerned that these packs will wipe out the “emotional” aspects of buying a house. There are very few first time buyers who can afford to be anything other than rational about their biggest investment. Emotion, for me, really isn’t a factor. I cannot afford to keep stumping up cash for Home Buyer Surveys on each property I'm seriously interested in, only to find the house has too much wrong with it for it to be a safe purchase.

There is no bureaucracy in these packs. More information comes with a £50 car than a house. Furthermore, the HIP replaces nearly all the costs associated with land searches, surveys etc, so the "cost" is no worse than it was! Have you really researched what these packs will include? Or are you merely opposing for opposition's sake?

Whilst there are a number of issues where the Labour Government have gone wrong, this is not one of them. I am excited by what this Home Buyer Reform will mean for me and I feel that your time is better spent challenging other issues such as the number of first time buyer houses being erected in the South East.

Yours sincerely,

So, what do you think?

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I wrote to the conservatives regarding HIPs and I havn't received a reply. I did also question the teaming up with Krusty Allslop - the fore runner of HPI.

I can't see why they are against it. Their arguments about it won't help FTBs doesn't stack up...

Lets us know when you get a reply!

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Thought I'd start a new thread...

I'm in the same boat as everyone else, youngish professional who cannot afford to buy. The conservatives are against these packs. Suddenly they're pretending to care about the first time buyer. Interesting, given that they didn't give a toss about people like us when they were in government. Here is a copy of the letter I sent them. I'm just doing this so you are informed that the arguments they are making are completely incorrect as the public seem to hold Kirstie Alsop in such reverence and she has teamed up with the Tory party to slate them, along with the likes of estate agents. Suddenly I'd rather be with John Prescott on this one!

Dear Mrs Spelman,

I write to you concerning the mandatory introduction of Home Information Packs as of June 2007 and your uninformed stance on their introduction.

I am not a “property professional” with vested interests, but a school teacher, and potential first time buyer. I am struggling to afford a house anywhere, quite simply due to the shortage of housing stock available.

Your argument that first time buyers will not be able to afford to “absorb” the costs of a HIP is quite incorrect. The first time buyer is free from a chain and, with nothing to sell, does not need to spend money providing a pack. Indeed the packs are likely to be far less expensive than the £1000 you quote due to the smaller size of property likely to be purchased by a first time buyer.

Furthermore, the HIP would include a Home Condition Report. This unbiased report would highlight housing defects and delve beyond the flowery waffle of estate agent speak. It would give me an indication of where I would need to spend what little money I do have left, rectifying faults and budgeting for repairs. The cost in real terms of having to put those little “niggles” right can realistically exceed the cost of the HIP and therefore, even with the house price itself increased, it is still outstanding value.

Your office are paying lip service to those struggling on average incomes. This is a solution that will benefit those who cannot afford to make a single mistake with their purchase. An unexpected £500 repair bill, for example would make a huge difference to my quality of life. Your “celebrity” ambassador, Kirstie Allsop (who has no real idea of how much of a struggle it is to be a first time buyer) seems to be concerned that these packs will wipe out the “emotional” aspects of buying a house. There are very few first time buyers who can afford to be anything other than rational about their biggest investment. Emotion, for me, really isn’t a factor. I cannot afford to keep stumping up cash for Home Buyer Surveys on each property I'm seriously interested in, only to find the house has too much wrong with it for it to be a safe purchase.

There is no bureaucracy in these packs. More information comes with a £50 car than a house. Furthermore, the HIP replaces nearly all the costs associated with land searches, surveys etc, so the "cost" is no worse than it was! Have you really researched what these packs will include? Or are you merely opposing for opposition's sake?

Whilst there are a number of issues where the Labour Government have gone wrong, this is not one of them. I am excited by what this Home Buyer Reform will mean for me and I feel that your time is better spent challenging other issues such as the number of first time buyer houses being erected in the South East.

Yours sincerely,

So, what do you think?

It's certainly very well written, clear and concise.

Good luck, and I hope you get a reply!

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Thought I'd start a new thread...

I'm in the same boat as everyone else, youngish professional who cannot afford to buy. The conservatives are against these packs. Suddenly they're pretending to care about the first time buyer. Interesting, given that they didn't give a toss about people like us when they were in government. Here is a copy of the letter I sent them. I'm just doing this so you are informed that the arguments they are making are completely incorrect as the public seem to hold Kirstie Alsop in such reverence and she has teamed up with the Tory party to slate them, along with the likes of estate agents. Suddenly I'd rather be with John Prescott on this one!

Dear Mrs Spelman,

I write to you concerning the mandatory introduction of Home Information Packs as of June 2007 and your uninformed stance on their introduction.

I am not a “property professional” with vested interests, but a school teacher, and potential first time buyer. I am struggling to afford a house anywhere, quite simply due to the shortage of housing stock available.

Your argument that first time buyers will not be able to afford to “absorb” the costs of a HIP is quite incorrect. The first time buyer is free from a chain and, with nothing to sell, does not need to spend money providing a pack. Indeed the packs are likely to be far less expensive than the £1000 you quote due to the smaller size of property likely to be purchased by a first time buyer.

Furthermore, the HIP would include a Home Condition Report. This unbiased report would highlight housing defects and delve beyond the flowery waffle of estate agent speak. It would give me an indication of where I would need to spend what little money I do have left, rectifying faults and budgeting for repairs. The cost in real terms of having to put those little “niggles” right can realistically exceed the cost of the HIP and therefore, even with the house price itself increased, it is still outstanding value.

Your office are paying lip service to those struggling on average incomes. This is a solution that will benefit those who cannot afford to make a single mistake with their purchase. An unexpected £500 repair bill, for example would make a huge difference to my quality of life. Your “celebrity” ambassador, Kirstie Allsop (who has no real idea of how much of a struggle it is to be a first time buyer) seems to be concerned that these packs will wipe out the “emotional” aspects of buying a house. There are very few first time buyers who can afford to be anything other than rational about their biggest investment. Emotion, for me, really isn’t a factor. I cannot afford to keep stumping up cash for Home Buyer Surveys on each property I'm seriously interested in, only to find the house has too much wrong with it for it to be a safe purchase.

There is no bureaucracy in these packs. More information comes with a £50 car than a house. Furthermore, the HIP replaces nearly all the costs associated with land searches, surveys etc, so the "cost" is no worse than it was! Have you really researched what these packs will include? Or are you merely opposing for opposition's sake?

Whilst there are a number of issues where the Labour Government have gone wrong, this is not one of them. I am excited by what this Home Buyer Reform will mean for me and I feel that your time is better spent challenging other issues such as the number of first time buyer houses being erected in the South East.

Yours sincerely,

So, what do you think?

You think everyone on here is a youngish professional?

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Here's a press release from the ODPM about HIPs:

TIMELINE FOR HOME INFORMATION PACK REFORM PUBLISHED

Key milestones for the Home Information Pack programmes are published today, setting out what Government and industry need to do to ensure that Home Information Packs are successfully launched to consumers on 1 June 2007.

Home Information Packs are a key part of a programme of reforms including electronic conveyancing, improved search processes and an estate agents redress system which will ensure consumers get a better deal when it comes to buying and selling a home.

Housing Minister, Yvette Cooper said,

"Currently, one million pounds a day is wasted on buying and selling homes. Buyers often spend hundreds of pounds on valuations, legal advice and searches on sales that ultimately break down. By providing key information at the beginning of the process, Home Information Packs will prevent waste and significantly cut the number of sales that fall through. That is why consumers groups have been calling for them for years."

The published timeline, which has been developed in partnership with industry, provides a clear path to implementation on 1 June 2007. It will help to ensure that industry and the Government remain on track to deliver a product that makes a real difference to buying and selling a home. Pack providers, Home Inspector training providers and others involved in delivering the packs to consumers are key to the success of this programme, as are the Consumer organisations who have been calling for these reforms for years.

Key points in the timeline include:

* March 2006 - Government gave the go ahead for multiple certification schemes, meaning lower set up costs for industry and robust standards set by Government to ensure quality Home Inspectors and a trusted, objective Home Condition Report for consumers. A number of organisations who are interested in becoming certification schemes have already come forward and the Government is considering their proposals and over 3,000 people are already going through training for the Home Inspector qualification;

* April 2006 - Government launch a HIP publicity campaign to industry and details of a three-phased product launch and dry run will be published;

* June 2006 - draft regulations are made setting out the detailed contents of Home Information Packs, rules governing the availability of packs, exceptions from the pack duties and arrangements for enforcement;

* June 2006 - June 2007 a three phase approach to product testing - that builds up to Government and industry testing across all aspects of the process, involving estate agents, solicitors, pack providers, lenders and others who play a part in delivering Home Information Packs to consumers, from ensuring that Certifications Schemes are up and running, so that Home Inspectors can register Home Condition Reports, to offering voluntary packs to consumers in advance of mandatory implementation. The Summer of 2006 will also sees the launch of a series of geographical industry led trials;

* September 2006 - Government approve the first Certification Schemes to oversee the work of Home Inspectors. The schemes will be set up and run by industry. Government will set the standards that the schemes will operate. In September the Home Condition Report Register contract will be agreed. A fully operational register will follow as soon as possible afterwards;

* November 2006 - June 2007 - the product testing continues with phase two and three leading the programme into implementation on 1 June 2007. By now, lenders will be able to use information from the Home Condition Report for valuation purposes, resulting in less on site valuation and costs savings for consumers;

* April 2007 - public awareness publicity campaign is launched; * March 2007 Review of the outcomes of the final phase of the product launch make final adjustments ready for going live 1 June 2007 The detail of the timeline will be further developed in partnership with industry and be continuously updated.

Notes to Editors:

1. Access the http://www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1164360

2. Home Information Packs: Key Facts.

Benefits to First Time Buyers:

* First time buyers are the most vulnerable and least experienced participants in the home buying process. They need hard reliable information to inform their decisions. Home Information Packs will provide this;

* First time buyers will receive pack information 'free', thus reducing the cost of entry into home ownership;

* At present first time buyers waste £100s on searches and surveys only to find that the sale falls through (£140m wasted each year - NOP World research - Springmove). This is an expense first time buyers are least able to afford. It means they have to save up the money all over again before they can attempt to buy a home - Home Information Packs will provide this information upfront;

* The Home Condition Report in the Pack will provide first time buyers with all the information they need about the condition of the home and its energy efficiency. This will save first time buyers the cost of commissioning their own survey, and put an end to people buying their first home only to find out afterwards that there are expensive problems that they cannot afford to put right, or costly utility bills they hadn't planned for;

The current system doesn't work:

* Currently, one million pounds a day is wasted on failed transactions and buyers often spend hundreds of pounds on valuations, legal advice and searches on transactions that ultimately break down. By providing key information at the beginning of the process, Home Information Packs will prevent waste and significantly cut the number of sales that fall through;

* Only between 20 and 30 per cent of buyers carry out a survey at all - that's 7 out of 10 people who do not;

* Nearly 30 per cent of transactions collapse after terms have been agreed;

* Over 40 per cent of failed transactions collapse because of an unfavourable survey or valuation inspection, so property condition is a major reason for failure;

* Only 2 per cent of buyers have a full structural survey carried out when buying a home.

HIPs will deliver:

* Transaction Improvements by reducing the abortive costs to consumers and the industry as well as reducing the number of failed transactions caused by survey or valuation inspection finding.

* Housing Stock Condition Improvements by a reduction in the incidence of unexpected repair bills and encouraging better maintenance of homes.

* Greater Consumer Choice by reducing the entry costs to first time buyers and creating a market of serious sellers.

3. Further information, including detailed Q & A's can be found at www.odpm.gov.uk/homeinformationpacks

4. A dedicated Government HIP website is being launched in April 2006 at www.homeinformationpacks.gov.uk

5. Stakeholders can register for free copies of the HIP Industry e-Newsletter at: www.odpm.info/subscribe.cfm

6. For background information please visit

www.odpm.gov.uk/homeinformationpacks

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 4400

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Website: http://www.odpm.gov.uk

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I am struggling to afford a house anywhere, quite simply due to the shortage of housing stock available.

That is not the reason why house prices are high and it gives the person you are writing to a get-out clause - 'we can't easily increase the supply'. High house prices have very little to do with supply and a lot to do with the fact that people have been buying property as an investment and lots of middle class tossers now own a number of properties that once would have been bought by FTBs.

There is a lot wrong with HIPs and something right. The Home Condition report is a good idea - the majority of buyers do not have a in-depth survey - but you are still going to pay for a valuation insisted on by your lender - seems daft these cannot be done in one go but ... the Home Condition report is paid for by the vendor so you could not rely on a valuation paid for by the vendor - so, somewhere along the line, two survey fees are getting into the equation.

Also the information within the pack such as local searches is time sensitive. Would you trust searches 3 months old - someone might have put planning in for a petrol station next door in the meantime.

Personally I can't see them working - there are better ways of dealing with the currently awful process of buying and selling properties.

If a vendor pays £500 - £1000 for a pack - and 6 months later the property has not sold - are they going to pay for the searches and Home Condition report to be updated. I think a lot of people will shy away from putting their property on the market in the first place and a lot more will take it off the market if it has not sold in a reasonable length of tiem and they are faced with more costs.

And, I know Estate Agents have many faults, but being completely thick is not one of them. Many, many estate agents - including the NAEA - have been opposed to HIPs from the beginning. If HIPs are going to help prevent deals from breaking and improve the house buying process - why aren't agents in favour? Agents lose a lot of money if they market a house and the deal falls through and the vendor takes it off the market.

Edited by Marina

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why aren't agents in favour?

Because information is power. It’s like a car dealer supplying potential car buyer’s

With a full AA report before money is parted.

I agree the Hip’s will have some teething problems, that’s why a dry-run is being

tested this summer. So the final Hip’s could be different from what it is at the moment.

Anyone inquiring about house purchase 'this year' should ask the vendor to supply

A Hip report.

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Ok Marina you've stated the problems, now please offer the solutions. What are the better ways? I agree with a couple of your points, but what do you suggest?

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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