Consents for 127 retirement village units is one feature of strong building consents data for December.
They were among the 232 new apartments that received consents in December, a 57 percent rise on the same month a year ago.
The seasonally adjusted number of consents for new houses, including apartments, increased 9.4 percent in December from the same month a year ago. Consents for houses decreased 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Statistics NZ said its estimate of the trend on the data has risen for 21 consecutive months and is 48 percent above the low point of March 2011.
The total number of new dwellings consented rose to 1,381 in December, up 23 percent on the same period a year ago, mostly due to increases in Auckland and Canterbury.
Auckland had the largest increase in new dwellings, up 140, or 48 percent, from December 2011. The increase included 76 new apartments and building was particularly strong in Rodney.
The number of new dwellings consented in Canterbury was up 82, or 41 percent. The Christchurch district notched up a 57 percent rise, Waimakariri 42 percent and Selwyn 19 percent.
Wellington experienced a 39 percent decrease.
In the 2012 year there were 3,267 consents issued, up 24 percent from the previous year, with Canterbury leading the way with a 69 percent rise.