Stability appears to be returning to the housebuilding sector with the latest figures from the National House-Building Council (NHBC) showing the sixth quarter-on-quarter rise in applications to start new homes in the UK.

During the three months June to August 2009 NHBC received 24,246 applications to build new homes in the UK, an increase of 2.5% on the previous rolling quarter (23,661).

Around half of the regions across the UK showed an improvement on the last quarter.

The North East reported 16% more registrations than the same period last year, compared with May to July 2009 when figures were 24% less than in the same period of 2008.

Meanwhile developers in Wales lodged 18% more registrations during the three months to August 2009 (639) compared with the same period last year (540).

However, with 3,182 new builds registered for the three months August, Greater London was 29% lower than the same period last year (4,512).

NHBC’s report looks at housing starts rather than completions, which are widely forecast to slump to about 80,000 in 2009. The decline was reflected this week in Barratt’s results when the group posted a £678.9m pre-tax loss for the year to 30 June and announced a £720.5m rights issue to repair its balance sheet in readiness for new land acquisitions.

Imtiaz Farookhi, NHBC chief executive, said: “The sector is undergoing a period of consolidation after a very challenging year. The autumn is a significant time, as we will be able to take a view of the market in light of improving economic indicators and the resulting effect on the sector’s confidence.”