Building consents have hit a four-year high with the number of new dwellings approved rising almost a quarter during 2012.
The latest Statistics New Zealand data showed that last year 16,929 residential building consents were approved, up 24 per cent from 2011.
The consents, the most seen in one year since 2008, were valued at a total of $6.2 billion, up $1.25b year on year.
In December alone, 1,381 new homes valued at a collective total of $487 million, including apartments, got consents.
Canterbury consents skyrocketed 69 per cent with 4037 new dwellings approved in 2012. Last month alone, consents worth $45m were issued in the earthquake-stricken region.
Auckland had the most consents issued for one region, with 4582 homes getting approval last year.
"Apartments boosted the increase in new housing consented last month," Statistics New Zealand industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said.
"In December, 232 new apartments were consented, and just over half of these were in Auckland and Wellington."