The forecaster said: "While the number of planning applications in May was down by a third on a year ago, applications were also 32% above their February low point.
In particular, there has been a marked improvement in applications for household and small private housing projects.
The tentative pick-up in applications has coincided with a modest recovery in mortgage approvals. Glenigan said although housing market conditions are forecast to remain harsh during the second half of 2009, the rise in planning applications suggests that the initial turmoil from the credit crunch has begun to ease.
Glenigan forecasts that the value of underlying project starts during the second half of the year will be change little on a year earlier. This compares with an anticipated 24% fall during the first six months of 2009.
"Recent tenders data support the forecast stabilisation in project starts. Having fallen sharply over the previous 18 months, the average number of projects going out to tender has picked up from a February low of 30 projects a day. The average number of tenders during May was running 30% higher at 38 projects a day," it said.