New Zealand home building consents for residential housing, excluding apartments, have risen to a six-and-a-half-year high, snapping two months of decline.
Excluding apartments and units, which are typically volatile from month to month, seasonally-adjusted consents rose 1.3 per cent to 1,813 units in March, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Including apartments, seasonally-adjusted new dwelling consents rose 8.3 per cent to 1,999.
Annual residential issuance rose 30 per cent to 22,366 from a year earlier. Stripping out apartments, annual permits for new building rose 25 per cent to 19,768.
"The building industry is well positioned for strong growth in quake-related activity in Canterbury this year, and to a lesser degree, a lift from depressed levels in the Auckland market," Michael Gordon, senior economist at Westpac said in a note.
Issuance of new building permits has been on the rise as the Canterbury rebuild and a housing shortage in Auckland fuel demand for property.
Increased construction activity is seen as one of the major drivers of accelerating economic growth this year.