Investors are impatiently waiting to see what’s revealed in a consumer price index inflation update coming out tonight, while domestically New Zealand’s market was slightly surprised by the property consenting numbers that were released today.

The S&P/NZX 50 index rose 27.9 points, or 0.24%, to 11,664.88. Turnover was $95.7 million.

Statistics NZ revealed this morning that townhouse, retirement village and apartment developments had continued to keep consent numbers elevated late last year.

The consent numbers accounted for 56% of the 50,209 residential consents for the 12 months to November and Stats NZ said consent approvals for multi-unit homes had ratcheted up by almost a quarter to 28,364 units for the year.

Standalone houses on the other hand fell 15% to 21,845 over the same period. Overall consent numbers saw a 3.2% jump on the comparable period which was largely led by townhouse developments in Auckland.

Devon Funds' head of retail, Greg Smith, said the consenting numbers had pleased the market even if the numbers had been a bit of a surprise.

“We've had a lot of concern around the property market, construction activity and so on, but the consent numbers that came out today have been pretty positive,” he told BusinessDesk.

“That might come as a bit of a surprise given the foreign property market that we saw last year but I suppose it goes to the intensification we've seen of housing in the last year.”

Property and property development stocks were mixed today, with Fletcher Building up 1.8% to $4.99, aged-care property developer Ryman Healthcare down 0.4% to $5.46 and Goodman Property Trust edging up 0.5% to $2.05.

Argosy Property rose 0.4% to $1.16 while Investore Property fell 3.3% to $1.49.

Healthcare manufacturer Ebos Group ended the day up 0.5% to $45.62 while Vulcan Steel also rose, up 4.3% to $9.28.

Smith said investors were also eagerly looking for signs that inflation was continuing to cool in the CPI inflation data due out of the US tonight.

Today, the NZ dollar was trading at 63.69 US cents at 3pm in Wellington, down from 63.72 cents yesterday.