The latest house building data from the Department for Communities & Local Government shows that 153,370 new homes were started in 2016, a 5% increase on the previous year, while more than 140,500 homes were completed during the year.
Islington and Manchester saw the greatest increase in house-building starts, up 296% and 323% respectively.
And the Council of Mortgage Lenders reports that there were 338,900 loans taken out in 2016 by first-time buyers, an 8% increase on 2015.
Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: “We’ve got the country building again with the highest number of housing starts for 9 years. However, we know there’s more to be done to build more homes in the places that people want to live. Our housing white paper sets out an ambitious set of proposals to deliver more land, speed up build-out, diversify the housing market, and support people who need help now.”