Construction began on a seasonally-adjusted rate of 685,000 new single-family home and apartment units in November, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
This represents a 9.3 percent increase in housing starts over the previous month, the fastest pace of housing starts since October 2008. Single-family construction rose 2.3 percent to the highest level since June 2011, while multifamily starts spiked more than 25 percent higher than the previous month to levels not seen since September 2008.
The growth was spread across most of the nation, although the Midwest experienced a drop of more than 20 percent. The spread was uneven, however, with construction starts growing only 4.1 percent in the South, compared to 22.6 percent in the West and 53.8 percent in the Northeast. Similarly, permit issuance declined slightly in the Midwest and South, but rose 21.4 percent in the West and 32.8 percent in the Northeast.
"Along with recent gains that have been registered in builder confidence and other economic measures, the improvement in new-home production and permitting shown in this latest report provides further evidence of the gradual strengthening that we expected to see in housing markets toward the end of the year," said National Association of Home Builders chief economist David Crowe. "We anticipate continued, slow improvement in housing starts and sales through 2012."
The real estate data, according to NAHB, shows signs that buyers activity is beginning to increase as the market turns the corner.