THE number of new homes being registered in the UK has reached its second highest level in a decade over the last year, despite the freezing weather disrupting activity, according to an industry body.

Scotland was one of only half of the UK’s nations and regions to see a growth in registrations on the previous year,

Across the UK, some 154,698 new homes were registered to be built in the 2017/18 financial year – a figure which was down by 2 per cent compared with 2016/17 but still the second strongest year seen in the past decade – according to the National House Building Council (NHBC).

More than half of new homes registered in 2017/18 were detached or semi-detached homes and less than a quarter (24 per cent) were flats.

Just 2579 or 2 per cent were bungalows – compared with 28,831 new bungalows registered in 1986/87.

Last financial year saw 116,451 new homes registered in the private sector and 38,247 homes registered in the affordable sector.

Half of the UK’s nations and regions saw a growth in registrations compared with the previous year, with the highest jump being 21 per cent in the North West of England.In London, the number of new build registrations plunged by 23 per cent.

Scotland’s one per cent rise was equivalent to 11,891 homes.

NHBC chief executive Steve Wood said: “New home registration figures for the last financial year have reached the second highest level in a decade, despite a challenging start to 2018, with freezing weather conditions affecting building sites up and down the country.

Business confidence in both the private and affordable sectors remains high with clear routes to continued growth in 2018.”

The NHBC’s registration figures are taken from builders who are responsible for around 80 per cent of homes constructed in the UK.

Builders are required to register a house with the NHBC, a warranty and insurance provider, before starting work, which means its figures represent homes to be built in the months ahead.

The new figures also revealed a slower start to 2018, with 36,637 new homes registered in the first three months of the year, a 14 per cent decrease compared with the same period last year.

The NHBC said the fall can in part be attributed to the exceptionally bad weather during the start of the year, with Brexit another factor.