People "thinking ahead and getting organised" could be the reason behind a spike in building consents issued for new homes in Rotorua in August, according to a local builder.

There were 21 consents issued for new dwellings last month, more than triple the amount in July and double the amount in June.

The total number of residential consents was 127, at a value of $9.3 million. This was an increase from 119, at a value of $5.6m in August last year.

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Rotorua Master Builders Association spokesman Bill Clement said he was surprised by the number of new dwelling consents, but found it refreshing.

"Everyone's pretty busy, things do tend to pick up once winter is over.

"Christmas is not far away, people are probably thinking ahead and getting organised. It's good for Rotorua."

Mr Clement said he thought the recent finalisation of Rotorua's Special Housing Accord was "giving people an incentive to get up and get building".

"Now's the best time to build because while things may not be skyrocketing, everything is going up.

"There's so much demand in other centres it's only natural you would see a roll-on effect in Rotorua."

Roland Tissink, of Tissink Builders, said they were booked up to a year in advance.

"We've always been busy with a mix of renovations and new builds.

"There's still room for more, I don't think 21 [new dwelling consents] is a lot, not compared with other areas.

"But finding good workers is always hard - I'm always looking for good carpenters, that limits what you can take on."

Mr Tissink said he was unsure whether the spike was seasonal.

"Years ago those kinds of figures were not unusual at all."

Deputy mayor and Rotorua Lakes Council economic development portfolio leader Dave Donaldson said the spike in consents was a reflection of the pressure on housing stock.

"Anecdotally I've heard that as soon as sections become available they are being snapped up.

"The demand appears to be there and while it's hard to predict, I can't see that demand tapering off in the near future.

"It shows as a district it was signalled to prepare for growth and now that's happening we have to keep our focus on infrastructure to support that growth."

Meanwhile there were 20 commercial consents issued last month, a slight increase from the 15 issued in August last year.

The total work value of the 20 consents was $3.3m, with the highest single consent issued to Polynesian Spa Limited for $685,000 to renovate its cafeteria and courtyard.