The number of new homes registered to be built slid during the last financial year, not helped by the Beast  from the East.

The figures – based on how many builders have registered for an NHBC warranty – showed there were 116,451 new homes registered in the private sector from the 12 months between April 2017 and 2018, down  on the record 157,805 registrations a year before.

However, the figure is still the second highest level for a decade.

There was a slow start to this year, with 36,637 new homes registered in the first three months, compared with 42,405 in the same period last year, a decrease of the 14%.

The NHBC blamed bad weather for the slowdown and the shortage in building skills as well as caution over Brexit.

Steve Wood, chief executive, 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, and the NHBC will continue to help support house builders to build the high quality new homes that people across the UK need.”