Housing starts climbed to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000, compared with a downwardly revised figure for October of 627,000.
The rate of privately owned housing starts in the month was 24.3 percent above November 2010, when there were 551,000 housing starts.
Permits issued for privately owned housing units rose 5.7 percent month to month to an annual rate of 681,000. A year earlier in November, the annual rate stood at 564,000 permits. The new rate is a 20.7 percent climb over the rate 12 months prior.
Permits issued are an indicator of what direction construction starts might take one or two months down the road.
Completed housing projects in November were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 542,000, which is 5.6 percent below the revised figure for October of 574,000 units and 1.6 percent below November 2010.