Tories to axe house packs

THE TORIES have pledged to scrap home information packs (HIPS) within weeks, if they are elected. <br /><br />Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps said yesterday it would be his first move, as the packs are stalling housing market recovery.<br /><br />Estate agents say sellers are put off by the &pound;300 to &pound;400 cost. And with the current shortage of housing stock, they say sellers should not be discouraged from putting their homes on the market. <br /><br />&ldquo;The packs are bureaucratic and a problem for both sellers and buyers. Also the packs don&rsquo;t reveal details such as whether the neighbourhood is noisy or whether the owners have tried and failed to get planning permission.&rdquo; said a Tory spokesman<br /><br />Shapps also plans to raise the stamp duty threshold to &pound;250,000 to help first-time buyers and wants to devolve planning decisions to local councils to speed up the process.<br />