Sharp rise in planning consents for new homes
There has been a significant increase in the volume of planning permissions granted for the construction of new homes, fresh figures show.
According to the Home Builders Federation's (HBF) latest Housing Pipeline report, the green light was awarded for the construction of 52,534 new homes in the fourth quarter of last year, the highest quarterly total since the first quarter of 2008.
The report reveals that a total of 174,471 planning consents were granted in England in 2013 - the highest annual figure for six years.
The figures follow a separate report from the government released last week that showed that there has been a sharp increase in housebuilding activity over the past few months.
The government data revealed that the number of new homes started in 2013 rose by 23%, with a 29% year-on-year rise in private housing starts since the launch of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme. Launched last April, Help to Buy is delivering around 2,500 reservations a month.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, commented: "After some very tough years, that saw housing supply drop to record low levels, it is now increasingly evident that housebuilding activity is on the up."