New Zealand home building consents fell 1.7 per cent in February, the second straight monthly decline, as the number of apartments extended their decline from record levels at the end of 2013.

New dwelling consents, including apartments, fell to a seasonally adjusted 1,915 in February from 1,949 in January, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Excluding apartments and units, which are typically volatile from month to month, seasonally adjusted consents rose three per cent to 1,805.

Annual residential issuance rose 14.7 per cent from a year earlier, or up 21.6 per cent excluding apartments.

Of the 21,842 consents issued in February, 19,414 were for new houses and 2,428 for apartments.

New dwelling consents rose to 464 in Auckland in February from 433 the previous month, while in Canterbury they climbed to 530 from 520.