The national residential building sector is at its strongest level this decade, with a record 28,387 new consents granted worth $11.4 billion.

Statistics NZ has released new data showing a big upturn in the sector for work planned.

The latest figures are for the May year and are national. They show a major increase on the 13,917 consents issued in the May 2011 year, rising to 15,132 by 2012, 18,521 by 2013, 22,853 by 2014 and 25,114 by 2015.

The value of all residential buildings based on those consents is $11.4 billion in the May 2016 year, well up on last year's $9.7 billion and 2014's $8.6 billion.


Consents have been granted in the latest year for 20,467 houses, 2095 apartments, 2076 retirement villages, 3749 townhouses and flats and units.

But consents issued in the latest month showed a dip, falling 0.9 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms. That is due to a sharp fall in residential consents issued in Canterbury, where many retirement units were consented in April.

Westpac noted the trends.

"In Auckland, residential consents for the month rose to 783 in seasonally adjusted terms from some very weak results last month (700), helped by a batch of new multi-unit consents. The last two months had weak consent figures for multi-units in particular, so a bounce was expected. Running annual totals for Auckland residential consents suggest that the number of annual consents is flattening out in the 9,300 to 9,600 range," its analysis said.