The latest NHBC figures have been seized on as another indicator of growing optimism among house builders.
Although rolling three-month trend data shows the uplift is largely confined to Greater London with the rest of the country showing flat or declining registrations.
In january the nationwide increase was also driven by an 18% rise in private sector registrations with public sector housing contracting sharply by 16%.
Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of NHBC, said: “2011 has got off to a promising start despite the uncertainty that is affecting much of the economy.
“However, it is important to bear in mind that home registrations for 2010 overall were lower than we might have hoped and completions were low as well.
He added: “This month’s figures do offer some consolation that, despite the raft of conflicting economic data that appeared in January, housebuilders’ attitude to new development was robust and they remain committed to recovery.
“At this stage in the year it is extremely hard to assess the future performance of the house building sector but it is telling that registrations increased even while we await important decisions on planning, public sector cuts and interest rates that will have profound effects on the market.”
The rolling three-month trend figures now show registrations up 3% to 25,022, compared to the same period last year.
The three-month regional breakdown shows that registrations in greater London jumped from 2,514 last year to 4,649 this year.
The eastern region also showed a small rise with all other areas down or flat.