The number of planning applications made in the UK rose by more than 18% in the last month, indicating the first stirrings of renewed confidence in the property industry

According to analyst Barbour ABI, a total of 47,349 applications were made during March 2009, up from 40,041 the month before, and the third consecutive monthly rise. This is still significantly lower than in March 2008, when 61,437 applications were made, but it is the highest monthly figure since last September.

Adam Valentine, research director for Barbour ABI, said: “We’re able to see a noticeable increase in the number of applications submitted in the first quarter of this year. Next month’s data could give an even clearer indicator of confidence returning to future planned work.”