A building boom is taking hold with Auckland residential consent approvals up 28 per cent in the year to July - the highest number since 2004.

The trend wasn't the same around other parts of New Zealand with consent numbers down in the month of July, but up on this time last year.

Statistics New Zealand has just released information showing 12,845 Auckland consents issued annually in the latest period, second only to the record-setting 12,937 consents issued in the year to June, 2004.

Stand-alone houses accounted for nearly half or 6039 new homes. An all-time record 3032 townhouses, flats, and units were approved.


But nationally, the exact opposite trend was displayed with new house consents falling 10 per cent in the month of July.

"The number of new homes consented can be quite volatile on a monthly basis, particularly as the number of apartments consented tends to fluctuate a lot," warned construction indicators manager Melissa McKenzie.

Apartments and townhouse building consents nationally were up, she said, while stand-alone house consents had been flat during the past two years.

More consents are being granted for apartments; townhouses, flats, units and retirement villages, up 29 per cent to a total of 11,843.

The number of stand-alone houses consented fell 1 per cent to 21,007, Statistics NZ said.

ASB said: "Housing construction demand has remained reasonably strong in Auckland and Wellington, underpinned by under supplied housing stock following a number of years of strong population growth."

But in some other regions, it appears that house building activity has peaked, commentary from ASB economists said.

"We expect some regional divergence to continue over the next year and on a nationwide level house building activity is likely close to a peak. Meanwhile, non-residential construction consent issuance remains strong, despite the recent falls in commercial construction confidence," the commentary said.