Building work began on 16,955 new homes in the six months to the end of September under programmes run by Homes England.
The latest figures for the government body tasked with delivering affordable homes exclude London and properties that are part of the Help to Buy scheme.
The level of new housing starts between April 1 and September 30 is the highest in 10 years and an increase of 7% on the same period of 2018.
However, completions over the same period were 14,792, which was a decrease of 7% on the same period last year.
Of all the new housing starts,12,310 or 73% were for affordable homes, which marked an increase of 24% on the same time last year.
Among these, 5,157 new housing starts were for affordable rent, which was down by 9% on the 5,698 started in this period last year.
A further 3,886 were for intermediate affordable housing schemes, which include shared ownership and rent to buy, an increase of 5% on the same time last year.
Of all the homes completed in the six-month period, 10,295 or 70% were for affordable homes, a decrease of 7% on the same six months in 2018.
Modular housing developer Project Etopia’s founder Joseph Daniels says: “There is a long way to go to plug the hole in England’s housing deficit, but Homes England is chipping away at it at an ever-growing rate, reaching a 10-year high for starts on new homes.
“In particular it is making much-needed inroads in affordable housing levels, which represents more than 70% of its work.
“The 24% growth in affordable home starts, compared to the same time period last year, indicates that Homes England is succeeding in driving delivery forward in that area of the market.
“Its efforts bode well for the coming year with a bumper rise in completions expected to follow.”