Planning permission for new homes in England saw a rise of 19 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the previous three months, the latest report from the Home Builders Federation reveals.
During the three months, 52,534 planning applications to build new homes were given the green light - the highest quarterly total since 2008. In total, 2013 saw 174,471 instances of planning permission being granted in England. This is the most applications given the go ahead since 2007. It was also revealed that 885 sites were granted approval - again, the highest total since 2008.
The report also showed that 51 per cent more permissions were granted in 2013 than were in 2011, when the market was in a 'trough'.
These figures are a strong indicator of where the housing market will go over the next few years, and a large number of these homes are to be constructed over the next few years.
It is believed this increase in planning permission is due to builders aiming to start on new sites as they build out their established sites more quickly, due to an increase in the demand for homes. This is driven by the government's Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, which was rolled out last April.
This increase in demand is seeing builders increase the number of homes they are building, and subsequently creating more jobs on sites and in supply chains.
The HBF noted that the government needs to start planning now in order to ensure that when it phases out the scheme, it does so in a way that is mindful of the prevailing economic climate at the time, and will also not damage the market and threaten the good work the scheme has done.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, commented: "The increase in planning permissions will help support a continuation of the big increase in house building activity we have seen since early last year.
"After some very tough years, that saw housing supply drop to record low levels, it is now increasingly evident that house building activity is on the up."
Does more building keep house prices stable and affordable? You might think it should, but the statistics paint a very different picture - find out more on housing supply and demand here.
- Friday 07 March 2014