Public housing orders down 40%
New construction orders for public sector house building fell dramatically in the first quarter of 2012, with 41 per cent fewer order than in the same period of 2011.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show a sharp downturn in year-on-year house construction in the UK, with the public sector seeing the biggest fall.
There was just £78.9 million of new public sector housing work ordered in the first three months of the year, compared with £132.8 million in the first quarter last year. However, the figure represents a slight improvement on the last quarter of 2011, when there was £74.7 million of new work.
The decline in private sector housing was less severe, with £49.8 million worth of new orders in the first quarter of this year, compared with £57.7 million in the first three months of 2011.
The figures for all contracts, including new infrastructure work, showed quarter on quarter growth for the first time since June 2009.
The volume of all work was 4.6 per cent higher than at the end of 2011, although it was still 3.6 per cent lower than in the same period last year, according to the figures. The boost was driven largely by new work in the private industrial and commercial sectors