Statistics New Zealand says the number of new dwelling consents rose by 5.3 per cent in the year to November 2018, compared with the same period a year earlier.
About 33,000 new homes were consented with Auckland leading the way, followed closely behind by Wellington, Stats NZ said in a release.
While stand-alone houses accounted for nearly two-thirds of new homes consented, the number of those declined very slightly.
On the other hand, the number of apartments continued to rise, as did the number of townhouses, flats and units - retirement units were about the same.
At the same time, consents for big commercial buildings including shopping malls and convention centres increased strongly.
The value of building consents issued for shops, restaurants and bars, social and cultural buildings, factories and farm buildings all increase by between $100m and $300m, Stats NZ said.