The ACT's planning authority expects its development application backlog to be cleared by the end of year, as it turns its attention to cutting down assessment times.
Senior planning officials told annual report hearings on Thursday that the backlog of applications awaiting a decision had been reduced by almost 30 per cent since July 1.
There are currently 259 "active" development applications in the authority's hands, down from a peak of 462 in October last year.
Planning officers have been under increasing pressure to clear the logjam, which has caused timeframes for decisions to blow out well beyond the legal limits. Fewer than 40 per cent of applications were decided within the 40-day limit in the past financial year.
Industry groups and the Canberra Liberals have blamed the clogged system for slowing the territory's construction sector.
The ACT government responded by funding six new positions at the ACT Planning and Land Authority in this year's budget.
The new officers have since started work at the authority, with the extra resourcing having an immediate effect.
Planning official George Cilliers told Thursday's hearings that he expected the remainder of the backlog to be cleared by the end of the year.
"I won't say that we're out of it, but I think we are very close to being out of it," Mr Cilliers said.
A total of 150 development applications were determined in October alone, he said.
Mr Cilliers said the focus would now turn to speeding up assessment times for new applications. Applicants have in recent months been waiting more than 100 days for a decision on their proposals - more than two months longer than the statutory limit.
The planning directorate's deputy director-general Geoffrey Rutledge said the authority's efforts had been well received by large companies as well as "mum and dads", whose smaller scale projects were now being approved "very, very quickly".
Master Builders Association of the ACT chief executive Michael Hopkins, who in September said the territory was in the midst of a "development approval crisis", acknowledged there had been "some progress" in addressing the backlog.
But Mr Hopkins said "much more work" was required.
"As the ACT building industry is showing signs of a slow down, we are concerned that millions of dollars worth of projects are currently stuck in the complex planning system," he said.
Mr Hopkins claimed that some of the government's building regulation reforms, such as the new code of practice for certifiers, would put more pressure on the already strained approval system.
Property Council executive director Adina Cirson was pleased to see the backlog reducing, but said her members were still encountering problems in the system.
Ms Cirson said some members had reported that while projects were being assessed quicker, they were often being approved with more onerous planning conditions.