Builders merchants’ sales dropped by 3.7% during September to November 2005, according to the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

Sales of heavyside products, including timber carcassing and panels, were down by 4.3% on the same period a year before, while lightside sales, which includes timber mouldings, dipped by 2.5%.

The northern region bucked the trend, reporting a 4.1% growth in sales, while neighbouring Yorkshire recorded the poorest performance, with an 8.7% year-on-year decrease.

Jeremy Hawksley, BMF managing director said: “Our latest findings reflect those of other industry indicators, and mirror the slowdown in consumer spending that has cooled housing market activity during the latter part of 2005.

“This has had an adverse effect on new housebuilding as well as the home improvement market – two core areas of the builders merchant business.”