Home Information Packs are again under fire, this time from property search specialist York Place.

Its research, among more than 400 property professionals, highlights widespread fears that any benefits will be significantly outweighed by drawbacks.

Only around one in ten responses proved positive.

HIPs are due in place by June next year.

Suzanne Hart, of York Place, said: "The continuing negativity about HIPs among organisations which are set to be the principal HIP providers underlines how much work needs to be done by the Government between now and June 2007 if we are to prevent the failure of HIPs to achieve their objectives becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy."

The Government claims that the three principal benefits of HIPs will be increased transparency, a speeding up of the selling process and a reduction in the number of time wasters.

But solicitors and estate agents who point to benefits are outnumbered by those saying that the introduction of HIPs will bring no benefits at all, and by those expressing concern about the negative impact of HIPs and their costs on the housing market.

However, despite their misgivings, a majority of both estate agents and solicitors are taking steps to offer them to clients.

The consensus is that estate agents are likely to be the principal HIP provider.

Just 11 per cent of solicitors and estate agents said HIPs would have a positive effect while 71 per cent said it would negative.