The number of new home builds started across England was up by 111% between July and September compared with the previous three months, Government figures show.
Some 35,710 homes were started in July to September 2020, with the sharp increase reflecting the relaxation of the national restrictions that had previously been imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the report from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said.
It marked the first quarterly increase since the same quarter in 2018.
However the latest total was still down compared with the 38,910 starts recorded in the same period in 2019.
Some 45,000 homes were completed between July and September 2020, only slightly down on the 45,500 recorded a year earlier and up by 185% compared with the previous quarter.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the number of new homes developers have started building has more than doubled compared with the previous quarter and the number of completed homes has nearly tripled.
He said: “This reflects the Government’s commitment throughout the pandemic to support industry to enable construction sites to remain open and operate safely.”
Councillor David Renard, housing spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA) said: “It is good that house building is on the increase again, and that planning permissions were extended earlier in the pandemic to enable developments to continue when safe to do so.
“Councils are committed to building the housing the country needs, which is why we are calling for councils to be given the powers and resources to build 100,000 social homes for rent each year, as part of the coronavirus recovery.”