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HIPs blamed for 37pc fall in the number of family homes up for sale

Home Information Packs are being blamed for a 37-per-cent fall in the number of family homes coming on to the market. The HIPs became compulsory for homes with three bedrooms a month ago and for those with four or more in August.

Estate agents claim the regime is driving sellers out of the market, creating a property famine. The market has also slowed down in the wake of higher borrowing costs, caused by five baserate rises in the past year and the impact of the global credit crunch.