This week sees the Conservative Party holding its annual conference. Given that the Tories are currently odds-on favourites to with the next UK general election – and that one of its (few) clearly stated policies is to scrap the HIPs scheme, readers will not be surprised to learn that the Association of Home Information Pack Providers has produced some research to prove that actually we're all gloriously happy with HIPs and would hate to see them go. Here's the formal statement…

New research out today reveals the majority of Home Information Pack consumers are satisfied with the delivery of their HIP, with further findings demonstrating the ease with which they were completed and support for the provision of up front information in the home buying process. The Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by the Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP), reveals the following:
 
Six out of seven of those surveyed (85%) say that the need to obtain a HIP did not influence their decision about whether or not to sell their home.
 
60% said the information provided by the seller in the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) is useful to buyers, with nearly three quarters (73%) saying it took less than 20 minutes to complete and 75% finding it easy to complete.
 
A majority (57%) agree that home buyers should be provided with more upfront information about the condition of the property that they are buying.
 
Only a minority (30%) disagreed that providing home buyers with more information about a property before making an offer would improve the buying and selling process.
 
Around four out of five (82%) agree that the process of buying and selling properties takes too long.
 
This last finding is further supported by existing research. For example, research by Connells has already shown that HIPs reduce transaction times by up to 12 days. Exchange-ready packs have reduced times even further. Mike Ockenden, Director General, AHIPP comments:
 
“Whilst those inside and outside of the property industry continue to exchange opinions with regards to HIPs it is essential that we ensure the thoughts of the consumer are not lost along the way.  HIPs are bringing benefits to the property market and consumers. The research results indicate that upfront information is key and HIPs are obviously an effective way to deliver this benefit to consumers. This research is the latest addition to the growing body of evidence that supports these facts. For example research from Connells out last month looked at of 3,000 transactions and found an average reduction of 7 days when Exchange Ready Packs (ERPs) were used in the process. AHIPP will continue to work constructively with all stakeholders in order to improve the packs for the benefit of all concerned.”
 
AHIPP will be exhibiting at the Conservative Party Conference this week. If you would like to view the conference film, here it is…