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Rightmove scraps GBP22 million home pack plan

Online property group Rightmove has dropped plans to become the UK's largest provider of home information packs (HIPs) for people selling their houses, following a government decision to make the packs voluntary.

The property website was in the process of setting up a GBP22 million specialist surveying unit to supply the surveys and documents required for HIPs, to thousands of customers around the UK.

However when the group discovered that the government had reversed its plans to make the home condition report (HCR) – a key element of HIPs – compulsory, it pulled the plug.

When the packs were mandatory they would have cost up to GBP1,000 but now they are only voluntary they could cost as little as GBP150.

Rightmove has so far spent GBP7 million developing its own HIPs product and it says it needs to spend no more than another GBP1.2 million before it drops the plan completely, Reuters has reported.

The online property group, which claims more than half of Britain’s estate agents are registered on its site, saw its shares plummet after it warned recently that revenue from HIPs would be considerably lower than first expected following the government’s announcement.