New home consents were 11% up in October compared to the previous month, with Auckland leading the charge.
"New house approvals show a rising trend for seven consecutive months, following historically low levels," said industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver.
"Seasonally adjusted numbers fell markedly in September but are up again in October."
Statistics NZ said that seasonally adjusted housing numbers in October were up 11% on September with apartments included, and 7.1% higher excluding apartments.
ASB economist Jane Turner said the pace of consent is up slightly from the lows recorded in the first half of the year, "but remains at extremely weak levels."
"Over the coming year, we expect to see underlying demand for housing construction to increase, supported by tight housing supply, rising house prices - particularly in Auckland - and low interest rates," she said.
Compared to the same month last year, October 2011 saw approvals for 1,238 new houses including apartments (up 10%), 1,149 new houses excluding apartments (4.5%) and 89 new apartments.
Consent values for October, compared to the year earlier, were $736 million in total building work (up $49 million), $460 million residential work ($45 million) and $276 million non-residential work ($4 million).
In Canterbury, earthquake-related building consents totalled $26 million in October, with $19 million for non-residential work and $7 million for residential work, including consents for 13 new dwellings.