The NHBC has reported a 73% increase in new home registrations during the month of February, giving a clear indication that housebuilding has got back on track following the big freeze.

Registrations hit 9,556 compared to 5,526 in February, 2009. During the three months from December to February the figure was up 66% to 24,105.

“As we enter the spring building season, there is cautious optimism about the signs of improvement across the housing market, and more so since the stamp duty announcements in this week’s budget,” said Imtiaz Farookhi, NHBC chief executive.

The statistics show the recovery was evenly spread throughout the UK, with almost all regions reporting higher levels of registrations during the past three months.

Private sector house starts were up 110% at 16,669 in December to February, while public sector figures increased by 13% to 7,436.

However, NHBC cautioned that build levels were still 40% lower than pre-recession.