HC Deb 27 November 2003 vol 415 cc418-9W
Mr. Clifton-Brown

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister in relation to the proposed seller's packs what the Government's estimate is of the(a) average cost, (b) number of properties that will be involved, (c) total cost, (d) number of surveyors required, (e) number of transactions accelerated and (f) number of transactions that would otherwise be aborted in a calendar year.[142008]

Keith Hill

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister estimates that:

  1. The average cost would be £365 at current prices: made up of £300 for a home condition report and energy survey; £200 for local searches; £10 for office copy entries; and legal fees of £125 for pack assembly.
  2. The proposals would affect around 1.8 million homes put on the market each year. The total cost would be £1.14 billion. Most of this cost is already incurred under the current arrangements, although a majority of these are currently borne by the buyer rather than the seller.
  3. Between 7,500 and 8,500 surveyors will be needed altogether, to be met from surveyors already in place and others to be recruited and trained before implementation.
  4. The provision of vital information at the beginning of the process should ensure that almost all transactions will be accelerated.
  5. and (f) A reduction in the failure rate 10 per cent. is achievable thus avoiding over 380,000 aborted transactions per year. Our research suggests that over 580,000 transactions fail between offer acceptance and exchange of contracts (almost 30 per cent. of the total).