More applications for new homes were received in March than at any time in the last three years, mainly thanks to the Olympic Games Athletes’ Village.
NHBC’s registered starts rose 21% to 13,307 compared to March 2010 and were 49% above February’s level.
Registrations for new homes at the Athletes’ Village accounted for 2,800 of this figure – the largest reported monthly total since November 2007.
The more reliable indicator is the quarterly figures for January to March, which rose 7% on the same period a year ago.
These figures showed private sector registrations were up 4% compared with the same period a year ago while public sector registrations rose 14%.
Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of NHBC, said: “March’s figures offer encouragement to the sector during a month in which the Coalition’s Budget announced significant changes for all house builders.
“Planning strategy, the zero carbon definition of a new home and the New Homes Bonus were all included in the Budget and the fact that new home registrations held up is a positive sign.
“Hopefully Government measures designed to incentivise the building and buying of new homes will deliver a level of stability and reassurance for the market and encourage its growth.”