Regionally ,the East of England performed best, while the South East and North West suffered the largest falls.
Private housing project starts declined nationally in the third quarter, after a rapid recovery earlier in the year. Social housing project starts also fell. "Private housing is forecast to recover by the end of 2010 but social housing will remain under pressure," said Glenigan economist James Abraham.
"The major supermarket chains continued to drive growth in private sector non-residential construction. Hotel & leisure, industrial and office project starts also increased in the three months to October," Abraham said.
He added: "The impact of government spending has already been seen in health and community & amenity construction. However, there is a strong pipeline of community & amenity projects due to start on site. Education project starts increased in the three months to October, but are set to decline following the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future programme."
Civil engineering project starts also fell dramatically in the three months to October. The rise in utility projects could not counter the lack of infrastructure work. Looking ahead Mr Abraham said "The outlook for civil engineering is better than may have been expected given that the Department of Transport's budget was saved from large scale cuts in last month's Comprehensive Spending Review".