The latest NHBC figures show that registrations to build new homes held up in October despite builders reporting a disappointing start to the autumn selling season.

NHBC reported 10,028 registrations in October, up from 9.033 in September.

“We have been slightly surprised by the resilience of registration volumes, given the slow start to the year,” said NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi.

“One possible explanation is that faced with flat or falling weekly sales per site, builders are looking to increase the number of sites they are selling off in order to maintain volumes,” he said.

Private sector registrations were up 20% to 19.971 for the August-October quarter (2009: 16,630). Public sector registrations were 9% higher at 9.044 (2009: 8,266).

Total registrations for the quarter were 29.015, compared to 24,896 a year ago.

Mr Farookhi said builders were still citing mortgage availability or restrictive terms on mortgages as holding back the market.

The NHBC’s findings follow the latest Markit/CIPS construction report which says the sector’s improved performance in the first half of 2010 may now be reversing.