Total housing starts - consisting of single and multifamily homes - unexpectedly jumped 4.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.07 million units in the month from an upwardly revised 1.98 million units, the report indicated. That was the highest pace since February 1984.
Analysts had expected starts to slide to 1.920 million units. Single-family starts jumped 3.3 percent to 1.695 million units in November from an upwardly revised 1.641 million units.
Permits, an indication of builder confidence in future home sales, dipped 5.4 percent to 1.874 million from October's upwardly revised 1.981 million.