The UK's construction sector grew again in December as the housebuilding market's strong recovery continued.
New figures show monthly output increased by two per cent compared to November.
Private sector housebuilding rose 5.1 per cent in December, and was 21.6 per cent higher than a year ago.
A report from the Office for National Statistics said the industry's value rose by £1.49bn in 2013, compared to 2012, with new work increasing 2.4 per cent to £1.62bn.
It added output grew 0.2 per cent in the final quarter, compared to the third quarter, with new work growing by 3.4 per cent.
However, construction output remains 12.2 per cent below its peak of £128.2bn in 2007.
The report said: “When comparing December 2013 with December 2012, construction output increased 6.3 per cent with increases in most sectors with the exception of private industrial new work and repair and maintenance of public housing.
“December 2013 saw the seventh consecutive month of year on year growth for construction all work.
“Estimated to be £112.6bn, the annual chained volume measure of construction output grew by a modest 1.3 per cent in 2013, but was 3.9 per cent higher than its economic downturn volume of £108.3bn in 2009.
“There were, however, drags on new work during 2013 when compared with 2012 with a large decrease in public spending on other new work and a 5.5 per cent decrease in private industrial new work.”
The figures come after housebuilder Bellway this week revealed higher sales and robust house prices boosted first-half revenues by 41 per cent, with strong buyer demand helping its order book swell to £783m.