Construction orders for the final quarter of 2012 are up. Orders rose for the second consecutive quarter at the end of 2012 but are still down 38 percent on their 2007 peak, the latest Office for National Statistics figures show.

It was the second consecutive quarter-on-quarter increase after a rise of 9.5 percent between Q3 and Q4 2012, and was the highest level of total new orders since Q1 2011, but was still down 38 percent on the Q2 2007 peak.

The data showed five out of six sectors improved on the previous quarter, with private new housing increasing 10.3 percent (GBP230m). Only infrastructure showed a decline when compared with the previous quarter, falling 15.4 percent (GBP420m).

Simon Rawlinson, EC Harris head of strategic research, said the most “eye-catching” element of the data was the upwards revision of third-quarter figures, which meant that overall 2012 saw a marginal increase in new orders of 0.4 percent.

Taylor Wimpey has become the latest housebuilder to post strong financial results, more than doubling pre-tax profit in the year ended 31 December 2012.

Pre-tax profit increased to GBP185.3m from GBP89.9m the previous year, while revenue also increased 11.7 percent to GBP2bn from GBP1.8bn.

Wimpey’s operating profit margin increased to 11.5 percent from 9 percent and it completed more homes at a higher average selling price – 10,886 homes at an average GBP181,000 up from 10,180 homes at GBP171,000.

The firm’s total order book value increased by 14 percent to GBP948m as of 31 December 2012, up from GBP835m the previous year.

Wimpey’s strong results follow similarly good performances by Barratt, Persimmon, Bovis and Redrow last week.