The number of consents issued for new homes continued a 20-month growth trend by rising again in November.

Statistics New Zealand said 1,658 building consents in the month was 20 per cent higher than November 2011.

"Since the latest low point in March 2011, we have seen continuous steady growth in the trend for the number of new houses consented," said industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno.

"The trend for new houses, including apartments, has climbed 45 per cent over the 20 months to November 2012."


Excluding apartments, house consents increased a seasonally adjusted 4.6 per cent from October.

When apartments were included, the seasonally adjusted number decreased 5.4 per cent.

Consent was given to build 39 new apartments in the month, which was 64 per cent lower than a year earlier.

ASB economist Christina Leung said consent issuance for apartments was "volatile".

"Looking beyond the volatility, the underlying trend remains one of a recovery in house-building demand, underpinned by rebuilding in Canterbury.

"However, there are signs the recovery in house-building demand in Auckland is slowing. The low level of new housing supply means the Auckland housing market is likely to remain very tight over 2013."

The strongest region in November was Canterbury, with 413 new earthquake-related building consents totalling $59 million.

Otago had 49 more consents issued compared to 12 months prior, making it the region with the second-largest increase.


The value of all building consents was $1,053 million, up 15 per cent compared with a year prior.