Planning approvals for new homes in the South West leapt by 22% in the last year, showing house builders' "increasing confidence", market experts said.
A report out today by the Home Builders Federation shows permissions granted by councils in the region rose to 4,519 in the second quarter of this year.
The figure was up slightly from the 4,405 homes granted in the South West in the first three months of 2013.
But it marked a 22.7% increase on the second quarter of 2012, when 3,682 new homes were granted planning approval.
The 2013 figure is also nearly double the South West low recorded in the second quarter of 2009, when the effects of the credit crunch and recession saw builders granted just 2,506 homes.
Nationally, the federation's Housing Pipeline reveals a 49% year-on-year increase in the number of planning approvals for new homes in the last quarter.
But it warned the 37,053 permissions granted was still "well short" of the 55,000 permissions required on average per quarter to meet housing need.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: "The overall trend in residential permissions is very positive.
"It reflects house builders' increasing confidence in the market and also the positive principles of the new planning system.
"With Help to Buy forging ahead strongly and developers looking to increase output, we need to see the increase sustained.
"However, at a time when developers are looking to build more much-needed homes, we are increasingly concerned by the conditions attached to many of these permissions that prevent actual work starting on site. Local authorities must ensure planning conditions are not overly onerous or unrealistic otherwise despite the success of Help to Buy, the much-needed increase in housing supply will be held back.
"Despite the increase in permissions granted, we are still well short of the 220,000 permissions required annually to meet housing need and all parties need to work closely together to ensure we see continuous and steady increases moving forward.
"Building the homes we need could take millions off social housing waiting lists and enable beleaguered first-time buyers to get a foot on the ladder. It could also create half a million new jobs, and give the country a massive and much-needed economic boost."
The report said the Help to Buy scheme, which was launched by Chancellor George Osborne in April and allows people to buy a property with a 5% deposit, had resulted in 12,500 reservations in its first five months.
The federation said developers were responding to the increase in demand. But it also warned that councils had to be "realistic about what conditions they attach to a planning permission" amid industry complaints they were "becoming more onerous and more numerous and ... causing considerable costly delays to construction".
The report is based upon analysis of housing projects being tracked by researchers at Glenigan. The firm's economics director, Allan Wilén, said: "Whilst off the high point seen at the end of 2012, the number of approvals remains significantly ahead of a year ago.
"The current strengthening in housing market activity points to a further potential rise in planning approvals during the second half of the year as housebuilders bring forward sites for development during 2014."