Figures from the Home Builders Federation show that 'outline' planning permission for 43,926 homes were granted in the first three months of this year. This makes 177,731 permissions granted in the previous 12 months, the highest level since 2008.
"All political parties and commentators now agree we are facing an acute housing crisis that will only be solved by building substantially more homes," said Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF.
"Existing sites are being built out quicker and we now desperately need new sites to come on stream if we are to see increases in house building sustained. All builders are now identifying the planning system as the biggest threat to further increases in supply. Too many sites with outline planning permission are now stuck in the planning system awaiting final permission to start on site. We estimate there could be as many as 150,000 plots across the country in such a position."
Buyer personality types
The National House-Building Council says it has identified six different categories of UK home buyer:
* The Project Hunter – always on the look-out for an investment opportunity 'project' to create a dream home
* The Easy Lifer – lwants a move-in ready house with state-of-the art appliances and technology
* The Altruist – cares about the environment, and would love to install solar panels to keep down energy bills
* The Interior Designer – buys interior design magazines for the latest in cushions and throws, happy to redecorate and create feature walls, but tends to shy away from extensive renovation work
* The Co-Homer – lives under one roof with adult children and elderly parents, needs multiple bathrooms, multi-functional living spaces and lots of storage to accommodate the entire family
* The First Timer – looking to get on the housing ladder with a partner or a house share with friends, prefers low maintenance property as they have used most of their funds scraping together a deposit
Buy an island
Savills are marketing the Isle Of Tanera Mor, Achiltibuie, Ullapool, Ross-Shire in the Inner Hebrides - it has 766 acres, no roads, and a population of three. It is mainly run as a tourist business with holiday cottagesa and a sailing school. It also has a cafe, Post Office and, as they say, plenty of potential. Offers over £1.95 million.