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UK property market surges as Hips axed


More homes are coming to market after Hips were axed, Rightmove said

More homes are coming to market after Hips were axed, Rightmove said

More homes are coming to market after Hips were axed, Rightmove said

Property website Rightmove has become the latest group to say it had seen a surge in properties coming on to the market following the abolition of home information packs (Hips).

The group said listings on its website had soared by 35% in the seven days after the Government said it was scrapping the controversial packs with immediate effect.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "We would expect to see a post-election pick-up in fresh stock coming to the site as people have been put off by the uncertainty of the election recently."

He continued: "However 35% is a significant increase in new listings, and indicates that many more speculative sellers have been encouraged to bring their properties to market since Hips were scrapped.

"It seems that the additional cost and red tape were putting sellers off."

The group said new listings were up across all regions of the country, with Wales seeing the biggest increase of 66%, while the North West saw the smallest one at 12%.

The jump in the number of properties being put up for sale following the decision to scrap Hips is in line with figures reported by the UK's biggest estate agency Countrywide, which saw a 34% rise in instructions in the week following the announcement on May 20.

Hips aimed to speed up the homebuying process by giving people more of the information they need up front. But estate agents had campaigned against them, complaining that the typical £299 to £350 cost of compiling one of the packs was deterring people from putting their home on the market to test the water.

There was also little evidence that the packs benefited consumers, with 91% of estate agents saying they thought house hunters paid little or no attention to them.

However, the jump in people looking to sell properties may not only have been driven by the end of Hips, with anecdotal evidence suggesting property investors are considering offloading some of their holdings before capital gains tax is increased.