House purchase is becoming a real rarity in my area now. Sure one or two transactions are still taking place - one such was a recent sale of a semi-detached cottage up the road from here, it was an 'executor sale'. When mortgages were plentiful and prices forever going up then there would have been houses going on to the market where there wasn't a life or death necessity to move. In the present economic climate one imagines that people would move because of a genuine need rather than on a whim.
This brings me to 'Home Information Packs' or HIPS. I had a right old go about them when I wrote a piece on 9 July under the heading "More thoughts on housing situation". I made the point that it was a big disincentive to put a house on the market when you had to shell out several hundred pounds right at the start. I also pointed out that with the downturn some Estate Agents just wouldn't go on paying for a HIP and wait to goodness knows when for the house to be sold and then deduct the HIP cost from their commission. In other words the vendor would now have to pay out a fair sum (up front) even if the property never sold.
The underlying point here is that in the present climate having to produce a HIP is a massive downside to the idea of putting your home on the market. It is all so typical of politicians, they come up with a hare-brained idea, imagine all sorts of upsides, don't forensically look at the possible downsides, enact legislation and then the whole thing falls apart. Assuming that the solicitor or licensed conveyancer is on the ball the main delay is likely to be securing funds. I really don't believe a HIP helps the process in any meaningful way. Rant over for the moment.