The latest data from the Department for Communities and Local Government has shown that new home starts were some way off the target level during 2012.
Annual housing starts totalled 98,280 in 2012, down by 11% compared with 2011.
Annual housing completions in England totalled 115,620 in 2012, 1% higher than in 2011.
Seasonally adjusted starts are now 58% above their lowest point in 2009 but 45% below their 2007 peak.
Steve Lees, Director at SmartNewHomes, said: "Despite a raft of initiatives being introduced to kick start house building, the Government has so far failed to deliver the number of new homes needed.
“Just 98,000 homes were started last year compared to a target of 232,000.
“It’s crucial that the Government takes action to ensure that changes to speed up planning decisions and cut red tape are pushed through regionally and start translating into an increase in housebuilding immediately."
Starts levels declined between 2011 and 2012 in 196 out of 326 authorities. The geographic spread of increases and decreases is very mixed.
Some of the greatest increases in starts levels were in districts in London, Cambridge, Hull, areas of Warwickshire and Devon, districts across the Peak District, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.
Areas with some of the largest falls in rates of house building starts include Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Kent.
The next set of data will be released in May 2013 and will show if 2013 is starting to show a predicted upturn in the number of houses put up.