The government has announced that HIPs will now apply to all three bedroom houses earlier than expected - September 10th. This has meant that anyone who thought they had bit of time before any October deadline has, once again, been shafted by the government and actually only have 15 days to beat the pointless "tax" kicks in. So it now seems the majority house sellers will be caught up in read tape and unnecessary financial pay out - it also seems the scheme will be extended to all home by October. The saving grace for the government on this one is that the markets have been pretty quiet so there has not been as big an impact as there might have been. What is the betting, however, that in a year's time the NAO will be producing statistics that suggest that there is more bureaucracy when selling a house now and that HIPs have not sped up the selling process? In fact, it will have made it worse.
The situation is summed up well by Jeremy Leaf, spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, who has said: "We find it hard to believe that the Government is pressing ahead with this policy at such short notice without first conducting a proper market impact study. Preliminary reports suggest a substantial reduction in the number of four-bed properties coming onto the market. The Government has no idea how this will affect the housing market."