Rating against the Code for Sustainable Homes to become compulsory in information packs for new-build properties

Home information packs for all new properties will be required to provide a rating against the Code for Sustainable Homes, housing minister Caroline Flint has announced.

Regulations going through parliament this week will amend the Hip regulations to bring mandatory code ratings for new-build homes into force from 1 May 2008.

This will add to the information on environmental performance and energy efficiency already provided in Hips.

Flint also announced the publication of the final report of the Hip area trials, showing that most participants were satisfied with their Hip and that buyers were beginning to act on energy ratings.

The report also revealed that some buyers who would have liked to have seen a property’s Hip were not being shown one by the estate agent. Flint said the UK government had taken action to raise awareness of buyers’ right to see the Hip and agents' duty to make them available.

The average cost of a Hip has steadied at between £300 and £350, according the report, with most being delivered within 14 days. More than 370,000 Hips have been drawn up and 440,000 energy performance certificates issued.