Home Information Packs might succeed with new technology – claim

Research from digital property pack provider, Moverly, has found that the majority of the 784 UK estate agents who were surveyed believe the provision of upfront information is positive for the property industry, with the biggest reasons for support being an improved level of transparency for homebuyers, a streamlined conveyancing process and the reduced chance of a fall through.

The survey, commissioned by Moverly, asked if the upfront provision of pertinent information related to a transaction was a positive when it came to the process of buying and selling property – with 90% of those surveyed stating it was.

Such information can be provided via Home Information Packs, which collect the essential details and documentation that homebuyers need access to when considering the purchase of property – such information includes EPC certificates, title documents, and Local Authority searches among many other things.

HIPs are not a new idea. In fact, they were introduced to parliament by the last Labour government but then the David Cameron-led coalition government abandoned the idea in 2010.

When asked why they thought the original introduction of HIPs failed, those surveyed by Moverly stated the reliability of the information provided was the biggest reason, while the upfront cost incurred by sellers also acted as a deterrent.

However, last year, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, committed to reintroducing the previously abandoned Home Information Pack as part of the government’s Levelling Up ambitions.

But what’s changed?

Moverly says that today’s technology allows the secure storage of personal information and provides the ability to easily share it with stakeholders across various processes, whether it be online shopping, electronic banking and much more. The landscape hasn’t just evolved, it’s a completely new world when compared to the old analogue processes of previous years and this makes it far easier for the consumer.

Moverly found that 87% of property professionals think that HIPs could be better placed to succeed in today’s market, due to the further digital disruption of the industry and our ability to share data electronically.

When asked what they believe the biggest advantage would be if HIPs were to return, a greater level of transparency for buyers ranked top, followed by a reduced conveyancing timeline, as well as a lower chance of transactions falling through – however, just 37% think their reintroduction should be mandatory.

56% think the cost of HIPs should be incurred by the seller, although some believe it should be the responsibility of the buyer (22%), the agent (14%) and the conveyancer (7%).

The majority (59%) also believe that there should be multiple HIPs providers to help drive the standard of service through competition, although they should be regulated by one single authority.

Moverly co-founder Ed Molyneux, commented:

“We believe that HIPS are absolutely essential if the housing market is to solve the perpetual issues of inefficiency and snail-paced processes. Of course you’d expect us to say that, but it turns out the vast majority of property professionals also recognise the benefits the provision of upfront information can bring.

“While HIPs may have originally been designed to help buyers, everyone within the transaction timeline benefits from greater transparency, greater stability and a more certain outcome.

“They can also greatly reduce the risk of sales falling through due to broken chains, saving both buyer and seller money in the process, as well as reducing the chances of gazumping, issues that have been rife in the UK market in recent years.

“Those who oppose HIPs do so based on the fact that a cost traditionally incurred by the buyer is transferred to the seller. While this may be the case, the cost of HIPs is dramatically lower today and sellers are also far better placed to absorb a marginal additional cost that could save them thousands of pounds in costs incurred should their sale collapse.

“What’s more, the advancement of technology and how we share information today, means that the ability to provide reliable information has been hugely improved.”


Email the story to a friend!


  1. Client1st

    I don’t know a single agent that would be pleased to see a return of HIPS. Just make it compulsory to have a search done when a property goes on the market. Most sensible sellers would go this anyway.

  2. Woodentop

    The issue with HIP’s was shelf life, delays, cost and costs to replace, made it redundant idea.


    To solve the issue once and for all, which conveyancers will not like as it will be difficult to earn a living and no excuse for taking so long as for many a case they will become readers?

    Key is real time all data access.

    EPC, Title, some searches are available now. Its the other bits of searches, surveys, lenders requirements and all the mirid of enquiries raised which can never be ‘real time’.

    1. Rob Hailstone

      Conveyancers are readers, that is what we do (and like to do). We aren’t climate change experts, tax experts, source of funds experts etc.

      As Benny Hill would have said, the problem with HIPs were many fold, but the underlying principle was and is sound.


    One of the things that makes me laugh are articles about how absolutely marvelous the property transaction process would be “if everyone adopted some new open data process for exchanging information” or some other such nonsense.

    The property transaction market will only improve if sellers are required by law to ensure that before the property is marketed that the Title is Good, that all relevant forms are completed fully and that all relevant documentation that a buyer will wish to see has been collated. This could all be stored in the cloud, or be driven by blockchain or some other such thing. Lenders would then have access to this information so they can make a decision on lending to a potential buyer. The seller would be able to assure buyers because a Solicitor will have completed a Certificate confirming the property is ready to be marketed. The buyer inspects the property and the documentation and takes legal advice and then makes an offer. It is accepted and contracts are exchanged at that point (just like in an auction).

    It is the process as it is currently set up which is at fault in that sellers and estate agents market properties which, upon inspection of the legal documents by the buyer’s conveyancer, require fixing.

    What isn’t given nearly enough weight or importance is the legal aspect of conveyancing. Its often portrayed as a problem (“cant you just get an indemnity policy for that?”) rather than a legal issue that needs a legal solution.

    If the legal bit was done up front, before the property was marketed, then the process would work smoothly.

    The solution isn’t technology because technology doesn’t address the real issue.


    1. Woodentop

      Interesting comments. The bit of “as like auctions” raised an eyebrow. Often a forced sale price, limited time to jump at the property and of course we all know …. you take a risk with what you are getting. While best practice is to market for the best price (legal obligation of agents), vendors will wait, lenders want real time data and that survey that isn’t more than a month old … and there is the problem. Some things can be done immediately, some cannot and the latter is where it all starts to fall down with legal liabilities etc.


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.