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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 15:17 GMT
Homes packs 'won't cost 1,000'
A couple look at house adverts
The government has rejected claims people selling their homes will be forced to spend up to 1,000 on its new-style Home Information Packs.

Officials said the pack, which requires sellers to provide a condition report, will cost around 650 on average.

Ownership proof and local authority search results will also be required.

The government, which has just begun a consultation on the draft regulations, argues the packs will reduce the 1m wasted daily when sales fall through.

Home Information Packs will actually save money and cut waste in buying and selling homes
Housing Minister Yvette Cooper

It said that overall the total costs involved for people buying and selling a home would remain the same, but that some costs would switch from buyers to sellers.

The requirement to have a Home Information Pack will not come into force until early 2007.

Launching the public consultation, Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said: "Buying a home is stressful enough without losing hundreds of pounds on legal fees or valuations for properties that then fall through.

"Home Information Packs will actually save money and cut waste in buying and selling homes."

But the Conservatives claim many mortgage suppliers would demand their own assessments anyway, and that buyers will want to commission their own surveys.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said the 650 cost would be made up of a home condition report costing around 350 and other costs associated with proving ownership and obtaining local authority searches.

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