This might be about as busy as the New Zealand construction industry gets, economists say.

There were 32,996 new homes consented for in the year to December.

The number of consents that went to central government agencies hit a 40-year high.

Those departments, including Housing New Zealand, were responsible for 1999 new home consents in 2019, the highest number since 2105 in November 1978.

Townhouses, flats, and units accounted for almost half of the new homes consented to central government in 2018. In comparison, of all new homes consented only a fifth were townhouses, flats, and units.

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