A 12% jump in the number of private housing schemes being built in the UK helped construction activity increase 6% in the 12 months to March.
And the underlying value of detailed planning approvals secured for private housing schemes has risen by 15% 12 months to January, according to industry analyst Glenigan.
Private sector activity was also helped by a 5% rise in non-residential construction, but public sector building continues to stagnate. And civil engineering projects increased by just 3%, after falling previously.
“A tightening of lending procedures by the Bank of England led to a cooling in mortgage lending throughout 2014,” said Glenigan’s economics director Allan Wilén.
“However, approvals picked up by 2% between November and December – a sign that the reforms have bedded in and mortgage credit may begin to ease once more over the coming months.”