New construction orders for the three months to this January crept up 1% compared with same period a year ago, according to figures released by the DETR.
However, an unusually quiet December meant that orders in the three months to January were 8% down on the previous three months.

Orders were also 5% higher for the year to January compared with the year to January 2000.

The DETR said 15,600 new houses were started in January, an increase of 1000 on last year.