More residential developers are submitting applications with local authorities as confidence returns to the housing market, Department for Communities and Local Government figures have found.
Applications for major and minor residential developments increased by 19% and 16% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014.
There were 15,200 decisions on residential developments from local authorities between January to March 2015.
However Andrew Bridges, the managing director of London estate agents Stirling Ackroyd, warned the growth to the developer market is still in its infancy.
He said: “There’s a long way left to go and the planning system remains a powerful brake on the number of homes that can get built.
“Whilst we’re definitely still in first gear, planning applications for new homes are gaining momentum. The mechanism for providing people with new places to live is gradually unfreezing.
“Particularly in London, where there is a dire need for new building, the first stages of supply are responding.
“Volumes of applications and approvals are translating into serious numbers of new homes in the pipeline.”
Local authorities turned down a higher proportion of major residential applications year-on-year as they accepted 79% in quarter one 2015 compared to 81% in the first quarter of 2014.
More minor applications were accepted however, as 75% were granted in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 74% in the same period last year.