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HIPs distort housing market

The controversial home information pack (HIP) scheme continues to distort the housing market, a property price index shows.

The average asking price in England and Wales rose 2.7 percent in the past month, reversing the previous month's 2.6 percent fall as owners rushed to sell up ahead of the roll-out of HIPs, according to property Web site Rightmove.co.uk.

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HIPs -- which contain key information about a property, including title deeds, local searches and an energy performance certificate (EPC), and are provided by property sellers -- were introduced for properties with three bedrooms from September 10, after initially being launched for homes with four or more bedrooms from the start of August.