The number of housing consents issued both nationwide and in Auckland hit a four-year high in March.
Figures from Statistics New Zealand revealed consents were issued for 1,559 new houses in March 2012, an increase of 43% from March 2011.
"This is the highest number of new houses consented in a month for almost four years, and is a big increase from March last year," said industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno.
"Most of this increase was concentrated in the Auckland and Canterbury regions."
The largest increase in new houses was recorded in Auckland, up 213, including 104 new apartments. Statistics New Zealand said this was the largest number of new homes consented in the Auckland region since April 2008.
The number of new houses consented also increased significantly in the Canterbury region, with the majority of new consents for houses outside Christchurch City in the surrounding districts.
Statistics NZ said the Canterbury figures were also a reflection of the low number of dwellings consented in March 2011, likely due to the February earthquake.
Most regions recorded increases in consents with only Gisborne, the West Coast and Hawke's Bay seeing small decreases.
After removing seasonal fluctuations, there were large increases in the number of new homes, both including and excluding apartments, in March 2012. The trends for the number of new houses, both including and excluding apartments, have both been rising over the past year.
The value of residential building consents also rose significantly in March 2012, up 30% from the year earlier - the highest monthly figure since September 2008.
In Canterbury, earthquake-related building consents totalled $28 million in March 2012, with $19 million for non-residential work and $9 million for residential work, including 16 new houses.