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HBF highlights house planning increase

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has published new data highlighting a continuing upsurge in the level of house planning approvals that are taking place across the country at present.According to the latest HBF Housing Pipeline report for the third quarter of 2013, 826 sites across England saw approvals for the construction of 44,251 residential properties during the three-month period.Overall, this represents a considerable upturn on both the same time last year (31 per cent higher volumes than in Q3 2012) and also in the preceding quarter (up by 19 per cent).The figures represent the highest level of quarterly approvals recorded since Q2 2008 and the largest Q3 data since 2007. In total, the number of approvals recorded over the 12 months to September this year stood at 166,978 - a 44 per cent rise on the previous year.Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: "This is the latest indicator to show how the industry is looking to quickly increase output. We have already seen evidence of a rise in new homes starts and these figures show the industry's intent to increase and sustain that over the next few years."He added the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has played a crucial role in boosting confidence and demand for properties over recent months, with developers now responding to this renewal of faith in the sector by the public.However, local authorities need to now play their part in delivering a sustained housing sector recovery for the UK, with a growing issue of onerous conditions being applied to many planning proposals over recent months and this could hinder further improvements in the field if action is not taken over the coming months.Allan Wilen of Glenigan - the company behind the HBF Housing Pipeline report - added: "The latest quarterly rise in planning approvals bodes well for 2014, indicating that house builders are responding to the rising demand from house purchasers." 

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