New housing registration figures have revealed a plunge in numbers in Northern Ireland and a flat housing market across the UK.
From July to September compared to the same period last year, the number of new homes registered in Northern Ireland fell to just 393 from 659.
In total there were 28,151 new homes registered across all sectors for the third quarter of 2012, compared to 30,039 in the previous year, representing a drop of 6%. Broken down, the private sector experienced a 7% decline, with social housing numbers down 5% against the third quarter of 2011 figures.
The figures were published by the National House Builders' Council. Richard Tamayo, NHBC commercial director, said that more needs to be done to stimulate housing growth.
"Recent measures announced by the Government are desperately needed but their success will only be realised through a collaborative effort between the industry and government," he said.
The news comes following recent reports showing that Northern Ireland's construction industry continues to lag behind the rest of the UK.