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The figure known as ‘net additional dwellings’ is based on local authority estimates of gains and losses of dwellings during each year. They are regarded as the best figures for the housing supply, especially by the Home Builders Federation (HBF), the housebuilders trade body in England and Wales.

This year’s figure reached 222,190, up 2% on the previous year, and the highest number in England since the financial crash of 2008. The total figure comprises of 195,290 new builds, up 6.4% on the previous year, greatly assisted by the present Help to Buy scheme; 29,720 net change of uses, often office buildings converted to residential accommodation; 4,550 conversions, e.g. houses converted into flats; less a small number of demolitions.

The HBF welcomed the increase particularly noting ‘that changes of use seem to have peaked and are being replaced by greater levels of traditional home building’.

Stewart Baseley, HBF’s executive chairman, said: “Today’s numbers are yet another sign that the home building industry is delivering the increases in housing supply the country needs. Whilst the second hand market remains sluggish amidst wider economic uncertainty, with Help to Buy enabling first time buyers to purchase new build homes, builders have continued to invest and increase output.”