Building consents are on the rise across the Western Bay of Plenty.
Latest Statistics New Zealand figures show 220 new residential building consents were issued in the Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City between March and May - up from 193 at the same time last year.
The value of new residential buildings consents has also risen, with figures up $12.9 million from the same three-month period.
Home Builders director Stuart Wood told the Bay of Plenty Times while there had been a lot of work and enquiry around, business was still not as good as it had been in previous years. "It's just because it was so quiet, the rise looks good.
"I was talking to my main supply merchant the other day, and he said 'well we're in the black again, not the red, but we're certainly not doing well'."
The Bay of Plenty building industry had been "in the doldrums for a number of years" but that was starting to change, Mr Wood said.
"People are a lot more positive, but it's been beat up a little bit ...
It is better, but I think it's only certain segments of the market moving."
In the Western Bay, new builds in the Lakes Tauranga subdivision were going well, while movement in the middle- to upper-market was going well in Bethlehem and also, but to a lesser extent, in Papamoa, Mr Wood said.
Owner of Tauranga-based Ultimate Homes New Zealand, Greg Leopold, said his firm had noticed a surge in demand for new building projects.
His eight-man firm had completed 16 homes in 2012 and he expected to do "seven on top of that" this year.
While the projects were of the same size, he expected to do at least 25 per cent more.
"Hopefully it carries on," Mr Leopold said. The figures reflect national trends - 1971 new residential building consents were issued across the country in May, up from 1372 in May 2012.
Consents in Auckland and Canterbury contributed 57 per cent towards the national total.
Statistics NZ industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said consents were now 73 per cent higher than the historic low point of March 2011.
The value of consents for all buildings, including both new work and alterations, was $1.12 billion in May, Mr Cardno said.
Residential building consents came to $726 million, and non-residential building work of $434 million was planned.
"While the figures don't take inflation into account, May's total was the highest monthly value since August 2007," Mr Cardno said.