The New Zealand housing market has seen its best month since the global downturn began
A report by Statistics New Zealand showed 1,559 houses received planning permission in March 2012.
This was up a whopping 43 per cent from the same month in 2011, and represented the most consents given since September 2008.
Auckland saw the largest monthly increase, with an extra 213 homes approved, including 104 apartments.
There was also a significant increase in the Canterbury region, with the majority of houses to be located outside the city of Christchurch.
Only Gisborne, the west coast and Hawke’s Bay recorded small decreases.
A separate report from Statistics New Zealand showed building activity across all regions and sectors increased by almost 3 per cent in the final quarter of 2011 after a year of declining output.
Residential activity was up 4 per cent, while non-residential construction edged up 1.4 per cent.
Canterbury saw the greatest increase in construction, following earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
The region’s earthquake-related building consents were worth NZ$28 million (£13.9 million) in March 2012 alone.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said in a market update: ‘Future building activity should continue to rise this year as rebuilding gathers pace in Christchurch, which suffered from the earthquake last February and aftershocks which delayed immediate reconstruction.
‘The recent announcement from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand highlighted this point, when it chose to leave the official cash rate unchanged for the 13th consecutive month.’
Latest figures shows continued boom in New Zealand housing