London has bucked the national trend with the number of first-time buyers increasing between February and March by 9%, according to a report by Haart .

This compared to a dip of 3% across the whole of the UK as new owner occupiers lost ground to investors with buy-to-let sales soaring by 19%.

Haart CEO Paul Smith attributed the figures to a rush of buyers attempting to avoid the new Stamp Duty surcharge which came into effect on Friday, April 1.

He said the number of buy-to-let investors was already down 55% in the first two weeks of April.

The estate agency, which has branches in Plaistow, East Ham and Stratford, released the findings in its National Housing Market Monitor for March.

It shows the capital also defied a national 5% month-on-month dip in demand for homes with London figures increasing by 26%.

In the East End, the average house price rose 9.5% between February and March to £502,056. That is a 20.1% increase on March 2015.

The number of homes bought and sold in the area also increased by 13.1% month on month and 1.23% year on year.

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