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Upward trend in planning

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has published its latest quarterly update in which it highlighted a growth over the last three months of successful planning applications for house builders across the UK.

According to the organisation's data, a 10.5 per cent year-on-year increase in permissions was recorded in Q1 2013.

In addition, the report now provides a first glimpse of the impact of the government's new National Planning Policy Framework, with a 21.7 per cent increase in permissions over the last 12 months in comparison to the previous full year.

A total of 40,633 dwelling permissions were granted in the first quarter. However, the report revealed this figure remains considerably short of that required to meet the UK's burgeoning housing needs of 55,000 per quarter.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: "The overall trend in residential permissions is very positive and hopefully reflects both the principles of the new planning system and an improving market place. 

"But we are still well short of the numbers needed and have to see continuous and steady increases over the coming quarters."

He added some extremely positive initiatives have been launched by the government over recent months, including the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, and they are having a beneficial impact on the sector in general.

The news comes in contrast to recent figures published by Knight Frank, in which the organisation revealed many projects across the country are still failing to get underway due to a lack of development funding coming into the sector.

That said, Grainne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, stated: "Housebuilders are optimistic that development volumes will rise this year and this view has been supported by their strong start to the year, with many reporting a surge in buyer activity after the start of the government's Help to Buy Scheme." 

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