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Applications to build new homes up 10 per cent

The housebuilding industray has received a boost with applications to build new homes up 10 per cent in the three months to April, figures from the National Housebuilding Council have revealed.

The National Housebuilding Council statistics show 17,859 applications to build new homes were received in the three months to the end of April 2009.

The amount is 10 per cent higher than the previous rolling quarter January to March 2009 when 16,232 applications we received.

Some encouragement can be taken from April’s figures, which show applications to start new homes in the combined private and public sectors rose for the fourth successive month in a row to 6,379.     

But activity levels during the three months to the end of April were still severely depressed, with a 53 per cent reduction compared to the same period a year ago.

NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi said: “While it is still too early to assume that these are definite signs of a recovery, some positive indicators are emerging which suggest that the severe downturn in house-building activity may be beginning to turn a corner.

“Anecdotal evidence from house-builders and developers also suggests that conditions are easing slightly on site, no doubt boosted by the Government’s recent £1 billion budgetary pledge to help the housing market and the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) Kickstart initiative to open up mothballed sites.”