In Q2, 56,647 permissions were granted which raised the number of accepted requests to 197,325 for the 12 months up to quarter two.
But the trade body said that to sustain this level of growth, more sites need to be made available to build in order to keep development momentum going.
In its report, HBF said speeding up the planning permission process was of equal importance to supporting the new homes industry.
An estimated 150,000 plots are stuck in the process being held up at ‘outline permission’ stage awaiting full sign off by local authorities.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of HBF, said: “The increase in the overall number of new homes getting planning approval is very positive. Everyone is agreed that we need to dramatically increase house building to address our housing crisis and so getting more planning permissions is imperative.
“The comparatively low number of actual sites getting permissions is concerning. We need to see work underway on more sites if the overall number of new homes being built is to continue to increase.”
The HBF report is a forward indicator of future levels of home building.
A large proportion of the homes which have received planning permission will be built over the next two to three years.
Builders are looking to start work on new sites as they build out their existing sites more quickly as demand for new homes increases, driven in particular by the Help to Buy equity loan scheme.
National developers have been posting strong profit figures throughout the summer showing how instrumental the govenement equity loan scheme has been in kick starting the new-build sector.