The number of new homes registered in Scotland fell during the first three months of this year, industry body figures show.
A total of 2,910 new homes were registered north of the Border in the first quarter of 2016, down 9 per cent on the same period last year, according to the National House Building Council (NHBC).
The fall mirrored a 9 per cent decline seen for the UK, with 36,566 homes registered across the country as a whole.
NHBC’s figures are taken from builders who are responsible for about 80 per cent of homes constructed in the UK. Builders are required to register a house with the NHBC before starting work, which means its figures represent homes that are to be built in the months ahead.
Most UK regions saw a decrease in home registrations in the first quarter of 2016 compared with a year earlier, with the exception of Wales, where registrations were flat, and the north-west of England and Merseyside, where they jumped by 17 per cent.
London saw a 15 per cent fall in registrations, although those behind the report said building activity was still bustling in the capital, particularly in the outer suburbs.
The NHBC cautioned against placing too much significance in the recent drop-off in the quarterly figures compared with a year earlier, adding that March 2015 had been an exceptionally high month for registrations.
This year’s early Easter, when many people were away on holiday, would also have affected the figures for the first quarter of 2016, it said.
Some 152,329 new homes were registered in 2015-16, slightly up on the 152,262 figure for the previous year.
NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton said: “Our latest statistics show that the industry is consolidating on the strong growth in registrations seen in recent years.
“Registrations are now around 80 per cent higher than the depths of the financial crisis in 2008-9, driven by increased activity from private sector house builders.
“Because of the increase in registrations we are now also seeing the resulting completions come through, as reflected in the 10 per cent rise in the number of new homes completed in the financial year.”