The research, carried out by the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA), which represents a network of companies and individuals with the aim of promoting self build and custom build, reveals that around 18,000 people have signed up to the registers, and that more than 20 councils have registers with more than 100 names.
But 18 local authorities currently do not have registers, the figures show.
The duty to establish a self and custom build register came into force on 1 April 2016, following the passing into law of the Self and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015.
Since October, councils have also been required to give consent for sufficient serviced plots to meet demand.
NaCSBA carried out the research by making freedom of information requests to England’s 336 councils.
It found that the authority with the largest number of people and groups of people on its register is Cherwell DIstrict Council, with 2,824. The district is one of the vanguard councils selected by the government to pioneer the new process.
"About 18,000 people signing up to the registers is a great achievement, but it is also the tip of the iceberg," said NaCSBA chair Michael Holmes.
"Some councils have only operated their registers for a few months and some have yet to establish theirs."
"Local authorities have up to three years to meet their obligation to grant enough development permissions for serviced plots to meet demand," Holmes said.
"However, with the number of people now registering month on month, it is essential they start consenting serviced plots now to stay on top of meeting this demand."