According to Stewart Baseley, executive chair of the Home Builders Federation, the newbuild housing market looks to have hit a turning point.

Mr Baseley, speaking at the federation’s annual policy conference, said: “We may look back on this moment as perhaps the turning point in the economic cycle.”

Recent figures from then RICS show house sales have now hit a two-year high.

Housing minister Mark Prisk, speaking at the same event, said: “I hesitate to connect the words ‘green’ and ‘shoots’ together, but while it is early days we are seeing encouraging signs that the measures we have taken are starting to have some effect.”

The monthly RICS housing report found that surveyors sold an average of 16.8 homes each in the three months to February, the highest figure since late 2009.

The positive signs come despite the fact that the rate of house building in England is still close to post-war lows, with just 98,280 homes started last year.