Grant Shapps has been misinformed

Commenting, he said: "It is clearly inaccurate to say HIPs have had an adverse effect on the market. Mandatory packs have been in place for nearly 18 months and the recent, dramatic slowdown is a result of economic factors, not HIPs.

"You can not blame the cost of packs for stopping people putting their homes on the market because there are schemes out there that allow for no up-front payment and in the event of a seller's house not selling there is no charge after 12 months.

"The Shadow Housing Minister has indicated that he will scrap HIPs in their present form but our industry wants to work with him to look at how the base product can be adapted and improved to the benefit of the home buying and selling public.

"We can assure Mr Shapps that we have firm evidence from consumers which demonstrates they are finding the PIQ a useful addition to the pack. We encourage him to take note of the changing mood in the industry, as it becomes more used to working with HIPs, and to consider the increasing weight of consumer research which indicates a growing affection for the provision of upfront information."