Building activity has increased for the fourth month in a row, but an economist says it is recovering from a very low base.
Statistics New Zealand says consents for new houses and apartments rose 12%i n October to 1424, its highest level in 15 months.
Excluding volatile apartments numbers, house permits rose to 1321, the highest monthly total in more than 18 months.
The number of residental consents has grown by more than 20% since the beginning of this year.
ASB economist Chris Tennent-Brown says the recent lift in house prices should help to stimulate the construction sector.