New home registrations reach highest level since 2007
Builders are preparing to construct new UK homes at a rate not seen since the before the financial crisis, new figures show.
Figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC) show there was 36,343 new home registrations between July and September - the highest number since 2007.
The government's Help to Buy scheme has boosted demand for housing, while increasing market confidence has made property developers more willing to commit to new building projects.
New home registrations are seen as a strong indication of builders' readiness to construct new properties.
The NHBC's quarterly figure for the three months to September is up 8% on the same period last year.
The organisation, which provides construction warranties and insurance for home-builders, welcomed the figures.
It said the market was picking up after slower growth earlier in the year, and the recovery was being seen across the country.
"Our figures show that the sharp housing upturn we have seen over the last couple of years is a genuine broad-based recovery across the whole of the country, with pockets of strong growth in the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside and West Midlands," said NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton.
"It is now increasingly apparent that housing growth is no longer London and South East centric, with these regions beginning to show signs of cooling."
However, not all areas recorded an increase in the number of new home registrations.
Merseyside, the East Midlands and the South of England showed a drop in the figure when compared to the same period last year.
Help to Buy
The government's Help to Buy scheme has been cited as one reason for the increased in registrations.
The programme assists people who can afford mortgage repayments but might struggle to raise a deposit.
Critics argue it is fuelling price rises and may create a property bubble.
The Home Builders' Federation (HBF), an industry body, said the scheme had given the industry confidence to build.
"Help to Buy has increased the demand for new homes and builders are responding. The industry has increased its output at the quickest rate for 40 years and is looking to continue ratcheting up supply still further," said executive chairman Stewart Baseley.
Other recent figures also point to increased confidence in the house-building sector.
Government figures released in August showed that 36,320 house-building projects were started in England in the second quarter of 2014 - an increase of 18% on the same period a year earlier.