The number of planned new homes has hit its highest level for nearly a year, new figures show

Over 4,500 private new homes were registered with warranty provider the National House-Building Council (NHBC) in May 2009, the highest level since July 2008 when they reached 5,305.

Total registrations of both private and public sector homes also hit their highest level since September 2008.

Housebuilders must register new homes that they plan to build with an NHBC warranty at least 21 days before they start on site.

However, the average number of new homes sold each day was at its lowest level since February. Daily recorded sales in May 2009 was 322, falling from 349 in April and 432 a year ago.