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New Zealand home building consents rose in March, snapping three months of declines, with increased intentions to build townhouses, units and retirement villages.

Seasonally adjusted dwelling consents climbed 11 per cent to 2,175 in March from a month earlier, the biggest monthly gain since April 2013, and turning from a 6.5 per cent fall in February, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Permits for new houses gained 7.1 per cent to 1,515 in March, the biggest increase since December 2013.

On an adjusted basis, new building permits rose 14 per cent to 2,271 in March from the same month a year earlier, though new house permits were more muted with a 0.5 per cent gain to 1,640.

On an annual basis, all dwelling consents were up 12 per cent to 25,038, with new house permits rising 3 per cent to 18,012.

"Townhouses, units, and retirement villages have driven the increase in new dwelling consents over the past year," business indicators manager Neil Kelly said in a statement.

 
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