The number of new homes registered to be built is at the highest since the crash - but is still nearly 25pc short of the Government's target of 200,000 a year, and London is falling behind.

The National House Building Council reports that 156,140 new homes were registered to be built last year, up 7% from 2014 and the highest number since 2007.

But that figure is still close to 25% short of the government’s target, with registrations in London slumping 9% in 2015 to 25,994 homes.

Mike Quinton, chief executive of NHBC – which monitors 80% of the new homes market – remains upbeat.

“There is still a way to go before we are building the levels of new homes that were seen before the economic downturn, but 2015 represents consolidation on the growth seen over the last three years,” he says.

“Our figures show that housebuilders are working on the highest number of detached properties for over a decade, with semi-detached homes also at their highest level in more than 20 years.”

Peter Andrew, deputy chairman of the House Builders Federation, adds: "It's heading in the right direction but I cannot guarantee we'll get to [200,000].

He believes more action needs to be taken to tackle a skills shortage in the industry.

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