Builders are welcoming signs that the residential construction sector may be coming out of recession.
Figures from Statistics New Zealand show the amount of building work in homes increased nearly 7.5% in the three months to December after two years of decline.
The building industry says it will never be cheaper than now to buy a new home, as many firms compete for jobs.
The Master Builders Federation says quotes are currently very competitive, but with prices for timber and steel on the rise, the cost of building a new house will rise soon.
Federation chief executive Warwick Quinn says the increase is coming off a very low base.
Certified Master Builders Association chief executive Derek Baxter says many people put their plans to build on hold while they were uncertain about their own job security.
Mr Baxter says the recovery is welcome, but expects the downturn in non-residential building work to continue this year.
Non-residential building fell in the December 2009 quarter, the third consecutive quarterly fall for that sector.