The volume of outline planning permissions granted for new homes in the UK has reached its highest level since 2008, according to a report from trade body the Home Builders Federation (HBF).

The Housing Pipeline Report revealed that 177,731 outline planning consents were granted between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014, with the majority of these approvals granted in the second half of 2013.

Compared to the first quarter of 2013, first quarter performance was strong in 2014, supported by greater demand from buyers, helped in part by the Help to Buy equity loan scheme.

But despite the rise in planning approvals, the HBF is calling for an increase in the speed at which outline permissions receive full approval, estimating 150,000 to be awaiting full planning permission, while the supply-demand imbalance across parts of the UK continues to grow.

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