April saw a 32% year-on-year fall in new home consents to 893, according to Statistics New Zealand figures.
Including apartments, 927 new homes were authorised, down 34% compared to April 2010.
The seasonally adjusted number fell 1.6% after a 2% increase in March. Excluding apartments, the seasonally adjusted number of new homes authorised was up 3.8% in April after a 3.3% rise in March.
Registered Master Builders Federation CEO Warwick Quinn said the figures indicate 2011 will see the least number of new homes built ever recorded.
He said extrapolating these figures for the rest of the year suggested barely over 11,000 new home consents for 2011.
"If these trends hold true that translates to a 25% reduction on the 2010 year," he said.
The value of consents issued for residential buildings in April stood at $354 million, 26% down on 2010.