Thursday, March 09, 2006

73% of homeowners will think twice about selling.

9 March 2006

NAEA research shows major consumer concerns on introduction of HIPs
- majority say no to the cost and 73 per cent will think twice about selling

Consumer research published today by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) supports the association’s concerns over Home Information Packs (HIPs) and reveals the general public’s true feelings about the increased cost of marketing a property for sale when the packs are introduced on 1 June 2007.

With the help of an independent research company, the NAEA surveyed 1295 adults throughout England and Wales. The respondents all had an interest in the housing market and comprised existing homeowners and those looking to purchase property within the next five years.

The Government’s guideline cost for collating the pack is between £600 and £1,000. One of the most alarming findings from this research is that a mere 4.5 per cent of respondents felt paying over £500 to collate a HIP was reasonable. In fact, 39 per cent of all homeowners surveyed believe the HIP should cost them nothing at all.

Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive at the NAEA, says: “The Government claims the HIP will be cost neutral. However, this cannot be the case when only 20 per cent of buyers currently bother with any form of survey. With over one third of respondents stating that they should not have to pay a penny to put a HIP together, it is clear that many people are concerned about this additional cost.”

Lack of first day marketing

Once HIPs are introduced, homeowners could be forced to wait up to 14 days while the pack is prepared before being legally allowed to market their property for sale. Only 13 per cent of those surveyed felt that 14 days was an acceptable time to wait and almost half of those surveyed (47.9 per cent) felt they should be able to market their home immediately.

The NAEA has found that buyers and sellers are both apprehensive about this delay. Almost 60 per cent of respondents believe the wait will cause them to miss out on prospective buyers, while 42 per cent are concerned that it will prevent them from buying the property they want.

Peter Bolton King comments: “First day marketing is a fundamental right for every home owner and its removal will have a huge impact. Time and time again we have been telling the Government that the lack of first day marketing will affect housing supply, the overall stability of the housing market in general and the entire economy. This latest survey emphatically confirms that consumers also believe this.

Long term Impact

A further survey statistic of considerable concern to the NAEA is that 73 per cent of homeowners said they would think twice about marketing their home for sale as a result of the mandatory cost and delay in marketing caused by HIPs. Peter Bolton King explains: “One of the biggest concerns the NAEA has about the introduction of HIPs is that it will have a negative impact on the supply of property coming onto the market. A very real consequence of this could be an increase in property values, which would further stunt the growth of the housing market.”

Short term impact

More than half (57 per cent) of the homeowners surveyed said they would consider putting their home on the market prior to 1 June 2007 to avoid paying for the HIP. The biggest concern for homeowners on this subject, however, is that they will have to pay for the HIP whether or not the property sells. Peter Bolton King says: “This will undoubtedly create an artificial impact on the housing market by increasing the number of properties for sale prior to the introduction of HIPs. The proposals are complex and the Government has decided to introduce them at the busiest time of the year for estate agents, against our recommendations.”

Awareness of HIPs

Almost half of the adults surveyed were completely unaware of HIPs and their consequences. Peter Bolton King comments: “This is of extreme concern to us, as HIPs will become mandatory in just 15 months time and will increase substantially the cost of selling a home. Clearly the Government has a long road ahead in terms of communicating the implications of the packs to the public.”

And finally…

Peter Bolton King concludes: “This research confirms many of the fears the NAEA has had about HIPs for some time now. I urge the Government to take heed of this research and again consider the practical implications of introducing HIPs to the public on 1 June 2007.”

- Ends -

About the research

This research for the NAEA was carried out online by Tickbox.net between 24 February 2006 and 28 February 2006, amongst a nationally representative sample of 1295 UK adults aged 16 plus.

Tickbox.net is a leading market research organisation, carrying out consumer, corporate and niche market surveys online amongst a 50,000 plus member panel.

Tickbox.net is a member of the BMRA (British Market Research Association), follows the codes of the MRS (Market Research Society) and is fully registered and compliant with the Data Protection Register, as well as being the preferred research supplier of the PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association).

About the NAEA

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency personnel, representing the interests of approximately 10,000 members who practice across all aspects of property services both in the UK and overseas. These include residential and commercial sales and lettings, property management, business transfer and auctioneering.

The National Association of Estate Agents is dedicated to the goal of professionalism within high street estate agency. Its aim is to reassure the general public that by appointing an NAEA member to represent them they will receive in return the highest level of integrity and service in both sales and lettings. Each NAEA member is bound by a vigorously enforced Code of Practice and adheres to professional Rules of Conduct. Failure to do so can result in heavy financial penalties and possible expulsion from the Association.

Editorial contacts:
NAEA:
Peter Bolton King, CEO
T: 01926 417750
M: 07793647219
Phoenix plc:
Kirsty Marshall
T: 01372 370 850
E: naeapress@phoenixplc.com

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