More than a third of home buyers in London have been gazumped over the last two years as the aggressive practice almost tripled across the UK.

According to the latest research by Emoov , the number of sellers allowing buyers to snatch with higher offers despite having already agreed a sale had increased across the country by 23% from 2015.

It found 36% of buyers experienced it in 2017.

The online estate agency’s founder and CEO, Russell Quirk, said: “Unfortunately, it would seem that the practice of gazumping is once again becoming more prominent as market values continue to climb higher.

“Traditionally it becomes rife in over inflated markets where high demand, and higher prices, push buyers to resort to dirty tactics in their desperation to secure the property they want.

“In the last few months, the market across the UK and London has cooled due to levels of uncertainty with the addition of a fall in stock levels, but despite this there are pockets of the capital, and elsewhere around the UK, that has remained hot where buyer action is concerned.

The survey found gazumping was most likely to happen in London, with 35% of those falling foul of higher offers in 2017 resident in the capital. Between 2015 and 2017 the average house price in London rose by 17%.

Russell said: “The London market remains the most cut throat by a long shot, however buyers are still being gazumped nationwide.”

Emoov asked 1,000 UK homeowners if they had been gazumped during their recent property purchase.

Buyers in the South East were the second most likely to be gazumped, with 16% of those who experienced the practice in 2017 resident there.

Purchasers seemed to play fairer in Northern Ireland and Scotland with only 2% and 1% of gazumpees calling them home respectively.

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