The residential property market is being flooded as sellers try to avoid paying for home information packs, surveyors claim. Daily Telegraph. The Independent. Financial Times. The Guardian

The RICS's latest fgures show there was an influx of properties coming on to estate agents’ books last month.

Speculation is growing that Gordon Brown may scrap the scheme, which is due to come into effect on 1 June. Yesterday he refused to back the scheme ahead of crucial votes in both houses of parliament.

The RICS said the amount of property on estate agents’ books has increased by 2%t — the first rise since November. The RICS warned that if the increases continue this month, as expected, house prices could be forced downwards.

David Stubbs, the chief economist at the RICS, said: 'We can now see a definite influence of HIPs on new instructions. We’ve actually been quite surprised by how big an issue it appears to have become for sellers. The confusion about what will happen to their introduction is putting the wind up some vendors.'

Meanwhile, the index of the balance of surveyors reporting higher prices rose to 28.9 from 26.9. It was the eighteenth month in a row that the balance has been greater than zero, implying rising prices.