The intensification of urban areas is growing with a rise in dwelling consents driven mainly by apartments and townhouses.
The strong activity in building consents is lead by Auckland, but also is evident in other cities.
New dwelling units approved for construction in May was at 3407, the highest figure for any month since June 2004 (which was 3447).
The total over the past 12 months is 32,628, also the highest since mid-2004.
CoreLogic senior research analyst Kelvin Davidson said the average size of new homes was getting smaller, with a fall in stand-alone houses being built.
"It's good because we know our population is growing and net migration is high and housing is unaffordable for a lot of people so having a more intensified housing stock with smaller properties is a good thing," Mr Davidson said.
The average size of a home is now 175sqm, down from about 200sqm seven or eight years ago.
"We are seeing a 10 or 15 percent fall in the average size over the last eight to 10 years and I would think that is probably tied up with affordability and rising building costs as well."
Mr Davidson said he thought there may have also been a slight cultural shift towards people not wanting as much land.
"Not so worried about that quarter-acre dream that used to apply 20 or 30 years ago".
He said in the mid-1970s the average size of a new dwelling consent was about 110sqm, so there was a large rise from the 1970s to the late 2000s and then that went down again in the past eight to 10 years.