One month into the program and from Monday all houses with three bedrooms or more require a Home Information Pack. About 60% of all homes coming onto the market for the first time will now be included with the remained to be included later in the year.
About 500 HIPs have been done so far across England and Wales but there is no evidence of a buyer asking to see a copy let alone finding the contents interesting or helpful. Providing packs for all homes that are marketed will cost house sellers about £600m next year. Nearly 4000 new jobs have been created to provide the Energy Performance Certificates and at least two Government ministers have been made to feel a little foolish as the legislation has been railroaded through.
Why? So that the time it takes to sell a property comes down and to keep our promise to encourage greener households – or so they said.
It currently takes a staggering 54 days between agreeing a sale and exchanging contracts. I doubt that a HIP will shorten this but it may help people to see just how inefficient our homes are. The trouble is that most homes are inefficient and frankly, what are you going to do if the house you want is described as a ‘G’? That’s right, you’re going to go ahead and buy it anyway.
It’s still possible for an eager new Prime Minister to pull HIPs due to a deal done with something called a ‘sunset clause’ with the Lib Dems when they were pushing the legislation through the House of Lords. Whether he will have the nerve remains to be seen but it’s hard to think of a good reason not to keep the EPC and pull the rest.