Almost 200,000 additional homes were created in England in 2006, the highest number for 20 years, according to the latest government figures.

The statistical release from the communities department says 199,200 net additional dwellings were created between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2007. The “net additional” figure takes into account new build and conversions from other uses, as well as any losses because of demolition.

The figure is the highest since 1987/8, and represents an increase of nearly 70,000 from the record housebuilding low of 2002/3 of just 130,520 homes.

However, the figures do not take into account the recent sharp slowdown in housebuilding.