Building consents have fallen for the second month in a row, due to a large fall in permits for apartments.
Statistics New Zealand says new home permits fell in May by a seasonally adjusted 7% compared with April.
Numbers of permits issued for new homes is a strong indicator of economic activity
Excluding apartments, building consents fell by 0.4%.
Auckland and Canterbury experienced the most activity. Earthquake-related building in Christchurch totalled $47 million including 37 new dwellings.
Value of residential consents rose by more than a third to $532 million, and an economist at ASB, Christina Leung, says that overall, the trend is quite positive.