Housing starts in November rose 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,297,000, 12.9% ahead of the same month last year, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday morning.

Single-family housing starts in November were up 5.3% from October to a rate of 930,000, 13% ahead of November, 2016. Multifamily was up marginally on a sequential basis to a rate of 359,000 units.

Building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,298,000, down 1.4 percent from the revised October rate of 1,316,000 but 3.4%) above the November 2016 rate of 1,255,000. Single-family authorizations in November were at a rate of 862,000, 1.4% above the revised October figure of 850,000 and 9.7% ahead of the pace of November 2016. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 395,000 in November, down 8.8% from October and 7.7% from a year earlier.

Housing completions in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,116,000, 6.1% below the revised October estimate of 1,189,000 and 7.2% below the November 2016 rate of 1,203,000. Single-family housing completions in November were at a rate of 752,000, 4.6% below the revised October rate of 788,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 353,000, down 10.4% from October and 17.1% from a year earlier.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, was buoyed by the report. “A welcoming trend is developing in the housing sector as builders are able to bring more supply to the market on a consistent basis. The latest monthly figure of near 1.3 million annualized housing starts is solid, and the growth is mostly coming both in the West and for single-family homes," he said.

"There is still more room for improvement, as the latest figure is still not yet at the long-term 50-year average of producing 1.5 million units per year. If this rising trend continues, the worst of the supply shortage could soon end, which would help slow price appreciation in 2018. That would be a huge, welcoming relief for renters seeking to become homeowners.”