Home-selling costs fall

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The cost of selling a house in England and Wales has reportedly fallen by about ten per cent in the last 12 months.

In its annual survey the Woolwich says that home sellers have benefited despite property prices rising by 11.1 per cent in 2006.

But the mortgage lender admits that sellers' savings will be negated to a degree by the introduction of Home Information Packs (Hips) next month.

From June 1st onwards sellers are required to provide buyers with Hips containing title deeds, local searches and an energy performance certificate.

Yesterday a House of Lords select committee report said it had "rarely seen such widespread opposition to proposals set out in secondary legislation" as that encountered during its investigation into Hips.

According to the Woolwich, in 2005 the average cost of selling a house was £5,181, compared to £4,666 last year.

"The market definitely favours sellers at the moment and the lack of property on the market is helping them negotiate deals with estate agents, and to a lesser degree solicitors, as agents are desperately trying to find enough good quality property to satisfy the increasing demand," said Andy Gray, the company's head of mortgages.

"We also expect the pressure to continue on fees as long as it stays a sellers market. Especially as the introduction of Hips in the summer will only add to the cost of selling a house."

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