Starts on new homes in 2013 totalled 122,590, up by 23% on the previous year, and the highest since 2007.
Despite the poor weather conditions this winter, work on new homes in the last 3 months of 2013 was also up by 23% compared to the same period in 2012.
Pickles said the housing market inherited in 2010 was broken, and fixing it was an essential part of the government’s long-term economic plan.
He said the government was prioritising limited financial resources and ensuring progress continued to be made across the whole housing market,.
Since 2011 almost 58,000 households have been helped onto the housing ladder, with over 38,000 in new build properties through Help to Buy and earlier schemes.
Pickles said housebuilders are using this momentum in the housing market to increase output and almost 100,000 affordable homes have been delivered through the affordable homes programme.
Construction orders are now growing at their fastest rate for 10 years and almost a million independent firms are involved in the construction industry.
Housing registrations rose by 30% in England in 2013 and by 60% in London which represents the highest annual total since records began 26 years ago.
Pickles said: “This government is fixing the broken housing market we inherited in 2010.
“Last year we built the most homes since 2007, and even the appalling weather conditions this winter have not stopped our hardy builders from getting the job done.
“That means an increase in small firms benefiting from the surge in construction orders, and more business confidence in the economy.
“None of this would have been possible without our tough action to cut the deficit and keep interest rates low.
“We have also prioritised resources to increase the number of affordable homes, and help credit-worthy buyers onto the housing ladder.
“But there’s still more to do, and improving the housing market will remain a vital part of our long-term economic plan.
“Progress was replicated in every area of the housing market. Compared to 2012 starts by private builders were up 24%, while starts by housing associations increased by 24% and councils by 23%.