Latest NHBC statistics show that applications to build new homes have now risen for six straight quarters.

During June to August the NHBC received 24,246 applications in the UK, a 2.5% increase on the previous quarter.

Around a half of regions showed an improvement. The north-east reported a 16% growth compared to a year ago, while the north-west saw a 43% rise.

Greater London saw 29% less applications than a year ago, while the south-east saw a 7% dip. The UK total was 3% down on a year ago.

“The sector is undergoing a period of consolidation after a very challenging year,” said NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi.

“The autumn is a significant time, as we will be able to take a view of the market in light of improving economic indicators and the resulting effect on the sector’s confidence.”