Building consents for houses jumped 11% last month in the biggest rise since March last year.
But dwelling consents, excluding apartments, remain 44% below the same month two years ago.
Statistics New Zealand says 1007 consents were issued for dwellings excluding apartments in July.
This is the first time consents have risen above the 1000-mark since last November. They have now risen for four of the last six months.
Dwelling consents including apartments were up 5% in July and are up in three of the last four months.
Otago saw the biggest rise nationally between June and July, with 67% more consents issued.
Auckland, Canterbury and Waikato all saw consents rise by about a third in July.
Consents issued in Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty, Marlborough and Southland all fell during the month.