Countrywide reacts to HIPS suspension


Thursday, May 20, 2010

New estate agency offers to help thousands of home movers

Countrywide, the UK's largest estate agency and property services Group, has announced it plans to reimburse all clients, upon completion, for HIP orders that have taken place in the seven days preceding the government"s suspension announcement.*

In addition, all clients that have taken marketing advice on a property sale from Countrywide since the 1st January 2010 will be offered a free EPC if they put their property on the market before 31st May 2010.**

Commenting on the government's decision to suspend HIPs with immediate effect, Robert Scarff, Managing Director of Countrywide's estate agency division said;

"I welcome the swift decision by the government to suspend HIPs. Making the decision quickly will give the market the boost which is so greatly needed. HIPs were brought in to speed up the process of buying a property, but in reality that simply did not happen.

"The government has made a good decision keeping EPCs, as they were the only part of HIPs that buyers took notice of. Allowing properties to be instantly marketed when an EPC has been ordered is also a very important change. This move will support the good progress being made for greener homes to be built for the future.

"The new government has an opportunity to make long term positive changes to the housing market. An extensive review is needed into the stamp duty thresholds. The Conservatives manifesto included plans to permanently scrap stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up to £250,000. The temporary change introduced by the Labour government should now be confirmed as permanent and the arbitrary nature of the higher rate bands should be reviewed."

"Housing no longer commands a seat at the Cabinet table and I hope that this decision does not reflect a lack of priority while so much is at stake. This fragile market underpins the economy and there is still much to do in the affordable homes sector to address the chronic undersupply of new homes in the UK."

* Refunds are offered to clients to cover the HIP payment, minus the cost of an EPC, which is still a mandatory requirement. Refunds will be paid on completion of the sale by deducting the necessary amount from the final invoice.


** Terms & conditions apply

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