Building activity is on the rise in Northland, according to new data.

Statistics New Zealand records show 56 consents for new builds were issued in June, five more than in June, 2014 but five fewer than in May.

The biggest increase in consents was in Kaipara, where 20 consents were issued - nine more than in May and 12 more than in June, 2014.

Consents were also up on June, 2014 in Whangarei but they were down in the Far North.

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Rob Littlejohn of Rob Littlejohn Builder said there was clearly more going on than a year ago.

"There's probably more people out there that are engaging in building work at the moment but there's also a lot of builders out there wanting it," he said. "The mid-to-low range of the market has been particularly busy."

Mr Littlejohn said there was plenty of land and sections available, with big subdivisions being opened up to accommodate the mid-to-low market. The average section was 600sq m.

It was mostly locals building, he said. "Aucklanders are buying existing homes. They haven't had quite the same impact on the building sector."

Sections were particularly popular around Ruakaka and Marsden Pt, he said.

Nationally, 12,057 new dwellings - worth almost $4 billion - were consented in the past six months.

"The new building consent figures show the total floor area for the dwellings consented was 221 hectares," Statistics New Zealand business indicators manager Clara Eatherley said.

In June, 2042 new dwellings were consented - 40 more than in June, 2014. In seasonally adjusted terms, June consents were down 4.1 per cent on May, however.

Just over 1500 of the June consents were for houses, 70 were for apartments, almost 160 were for retirement village units, and more than 300 were for townhouses, flats and units. The total value was $1.3 billion.