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    Homes on market soar as Hips are scrapped


    by ODN


    The number of homes being put on the market has soared by a third since the Government announced plans to scrap home information packs, according to an estate agency.

    The UK's biggest estate agency Countrywide said it had seen a 34 per cent rise in the number of people selling their home after the announcement.

    It said new instructions, up 68 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, are now at levels last seen in September 2007 - shortly after home information packs (Hips) were first introduced.

    The Government announced on May 20 that the packs, which aimed to speed up the homebuying process by giving people more of the information they need up front, were being scrapped with immediate effect.

    Estate agents had campaigned against Hips, 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 91per cent of estate agents saying they thought house hunters paid little or no attention to them.

    Robert Scarff, managing director of Countrywide's estate agency division, said: "The results speak for themselves and show that the timing of the suspension of Hips was crucial.

    "This decision has provided homeowners with the incentive they need to put their properties on the market."