Building consent applications are at a seven-year high after a 1.5 per cent increase in April, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Building consent figures from Statistics NZ shows 2082 new dwellings were consented in April, up 19 per cent from the same month last year and up 1.5 per cent from March (seasonally adjusted).
This figure included 432 apartments, the third time in six months that the number of new apartments has been above 400.
However, if apartments were excluded, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented actually fell 5.2 per cent from March.
"The trend for new dwellings has doubled since the low point in March 2011, but is still 27 per cent below the series peak in January 2004," Statistics NZ business indicators manager Neil Kelly said.
In the year ended April 30 there were 22,693 new residential consents issued, up 21 per cent from 2013.
These consents had a total value of just under $7 billion, up from $5.4b last year.
Auckland had the most consents in April with 697 (including 241 apartments), followed by Canterbury with 554 (including 40 apartments) and the Waikato with 261 (including 69 apartments).
This was a reversal of the figures for March when Canterbury outstripped Auckland's building activity with 604 consents compared to 561.
Auckland's rate of building consents will need to pick up if it is to reach its target of 39,000 new homes over the next three years.
A total of $1.1b of building work was consented in April, with $739 million of residential work and $401m of non-residential work.