For the first time in three months building consents for new houses rose in March, led by Canterbury and Auckland.
Official figures show the number of new homes, including apartments, rose a seasonally adjusted 8.3 percent last month.
Excluding volatile apartment consents, the seasonally adjusted number rose 1.3 percent.
The number of new consents for the year to the end of March was 30 percent higher than the previous 12 months.
The trend is at its highest level since September 2007, but is still 28 percent below the series peak in January 2004.
Building consents issued for Auckland and the Canterbury region accounted for 58 percent of the national total.