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Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 12-Oct-07 01:54:38 AM

Warning: Text of a depressing nature follows.

Seems some DEAs over at the HomeInspectorForum have answered the recent call made by Tom Parker on the DEA Podcast, to cyber-lobby Yvette Cooper directly through her inbox.

Forum member, 'hannahdavidson', did just that and received a response from the Minister's office stating that the rest of the domestic and commercial market will be rolled-out next year:

EPCs will be rolled out to the rest of the domestic and commercial market next year

Now, you know how these things go; there's plausible deniability at possible play here... or is there? Surely whoever wrote that - from Yvette Cooper's office - would not write that without some calibrated forethought (and authority to do so)?

No excuse

I have to say, I was surprised - nay shocked - to see the latest DEA numbers published before a full HIP roll-out announcement. I'm dumbfounded that nearly 2 weeks later, everyone is still waiting; There is absolutely no hitherto-stated criteria that has not been completely atomised to the point of non-existence that remains...

... accept this:

Communities and Local Government has to take into account a range of factors to ensure that HIPs roll out to the market smoothly, and this is being closely monitored.


It's that 'lessons learnt' clause - The Teflon-coated camouflage under which political whims privately take place.

Difficult decisions

The Govt, to be fair, do face a very difficult decision under the current (and expected) economic climate - We all know about the "credit crunch" and the almost-daily headlines of a grinding housing market. Whether you believe HIPs are at work or not, it doesn't matter: HIPs will add further friction to a faltering market.

Deferred payment may help a bit but - believe it or not - there are places where houses remain unsold for one or two years; particularly "oop-north"... oh yes!

(BTW... a RICS spokesman on Working Lunch today - passing opinion on the current market - not once mentioned HIPs)

First-time-buyers are sacred

One and two-bed homes represent the "sacred womb" of first-time buyers in the public (and market) conscience at the moment - Does the Govt want to risk harming this "market incubator"? It could be the one playground that keeps, at least some of, the money flowing to sustain a "soft-landing".

It's all-well-and-good to argue that the HIP is good for first-time buyers - It's mute when there are few houses offered for sale.

Introducing The PCS Expo Conference 'Patsy'

I am led to believe, from a credible source, that Yvette Cooper will not attend the PCS Expo conference next week; instead, sending her junior minister Ian Wright, as replacement.

If she had any good news, she would surely want to be the one to share it, wouldn't she?

You could hardly imagine a worst set of colliding circumstances occurring at this juncture of the launch of HIPs: A flood-aftermath; a crunch on credit; postal chaos; insurers warning of "uninsurable" housing; rising oil and food costs; and a growing lack of home-sellers.

If Yvette Cooper procrastinates even by just one more week; DEAs will additionally be entering the traditionally deserted housing market, after the required 3-week Commencement Order has played-out.

HIP Prediction

She could still "save her year" by announcing a full roll-out just before Christmas, of course. Proclaiming that '... DEAs can now enjoy xmas with their families knowing they can begin their new careers in the new year!'.

To assuage RICS and a nervous housing market, she could couch their fears by compromising on the "First day of marketing" requirement.

It's a political path, as they say in the trade, innit?

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