Confusion surrounding the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) has so far failed to slow down the housing market.

HIPs are designed to contain all of the information needed by potential buyers about properties, and are paid for by the seller, at a cost of between £400 and £700. Packs include copies of title deeds, any recent planning permission or building consent given on the property, a local area search and energy performance certificate.

HIPs were due to be introduced for all properties on June 1 2007, but the Government delayed the start date by two months and limited the initial roll-out to properties with four or more bedrooms because of a lack of qualified energy assessors.

As of the 10th of September 2007 the HIPs scheme was extended to cover all three bedroom houses in England and Wales.

Farleys assistant solicitor, Carolynne Tovell, said: “The introduction of HIPs has not been smooth, and it was feared that many people would put off selling their homes until they knew how HIPs would affect their house sale, but this doesn’t appear to be the case.”

House prices across Lancashire have increased in the last quarter, with the most significant areas of growth being in Pendle (15.5 per cent), West Lancashire (13.8 per cent) and Blackburn with Darwen (12.3 per cent) and from enquiries we have had from people looking for conveyancing advice, it doesn’t appear that there will be a slow down in the housing market anytime soon.

HIPs are designed to reduce the number of property transactions which fall through by making sure the buyer has all of the information they need about a property before they make an offer.

However, critics don’t believe this will be the case as it will add to the red tape surrounding buying a house, and will increase the costs for people selling a property. The Government has done very little research into the long-term impact of HIPs on the housing market, so it will be very interesting to see if house prices do continue to defy predictions. In the meantime Farleys can of course prepare a home information pack for its clients at a competitive price.

To speak with a Residential Property Solicitor, please e-mail Farleys Solicitors LLP or call us now on 0845 287 0939.