The trend in building consents is continuing to pick up driven by the need for new homes in earthquake damaged Christchurch and strong population growth in Auckland.
Official figures show the seasonally adjusted number of dwelling consents, edged up 0.1 percent in July, compared with the previous month.
Excluding apartment numbers, which are volatile, consents fell 2 percent.
In actual terms, 2,282 consents were issued last month, which is the highest number of permits in a month since April 2008.
Canterbury and Auckland continue to lead the way, accounting for 64 percent of the total.
Nevertheless, Statistics New Zealand said the trend for the number of consents was at its highest level since August 2007, but it was still 26 percent below the peak experienced in early 2004.
On an annual basis, consents totalled more than 23,600, which ANZ Bank economist Mark Smith said was its highest level in six years.
"The annual total for residential consents was the highest since May 2008 so things are definitely picking up. The other thing is that while Canterbury and Auckland annual consent issuances are lifting, it's sort of levelling off in the rest of the country. Only six of the 16 regions we saw reported an increase in annual issuance in the 12 months to July compared to the previous 12 months.
"So yes, while things are picking up, it's pretty much concentrated in Auckland, Canterbury and a few other regions."