Image: Daniel Chapman Image: Daniel Chapman

The number of new homes approved for construction in London rose ahead of the Brexit vote, defying expectations of a pre-referendum slump.

Figures from Stirling Ackroyd show that 76% of applications were granted approval in the second quarter of 2016, having fallen to just above 60% in the first three months of the year.

This means there has been a 46% quarter-on-quarter improvement since Q1 2016, which saw 4,300 new homes given approval.

Westminster proved the most proactive London borough – approving 1,720 new homes. Overall, the inner borough allowed 99% of all new home applications it received, the highest rate in Greater London.

Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said: "London has had a tough time lately, as Brexit injected a dose of uncertainty into the property market. In spite of this, the number of new home approvals improved in the run up to the result. There may still be an impact to come but for now, this pick-up is a sign that London's property market is resilient. It's a new game of unknowns - and London could emerge a winner.

"A new housing minister means new rules though - and London could be set for a shake-up. The revival of a minister for London could bring some reassurance to developers, and buyers, who are hoping for a pro-building government under Theresa May. Realistically, however, it's more likely to be business as usual."

Last week, Nationwide said the impact of the Brexit vote on house prices would remain "uncertain" for several months. UK prices rose just 0.5% between June and July, the building society said.

And housebuilder Barratt Developments warned that it will review existing commitments on construction following the Brexit vote.