Building consents rose a seasonally-adjusted 12.5% percent in August, following a 14% rise in July.
When consents for apartments are stripped out, consent issuance rose 17% to 1210 - the highest level since July last year - Statistics New Zealand figures show.
Deutsche Bank chief economist Darren Gibbs says the figures show the very beginnings of a rebound in the residential construction sector.
The value of residential building consents rose 0.7% to $394 million in the year to August while the value of non-residential consents fell 1.5% to $288 million.
The value of earthquake-related building consents in Canterbury totalled $20 million in August compared to $32 million in July.