WASHINGTON - Nationwide housing production rose 8.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 574,000 units in November, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department.

The gain represented a partial bounce-back from an exceptionally slow month for housing activity in October, and was largely attributed to a big increase on the multifamily side, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

"The fact that both starts and permits for new housing production rose last month is a good sign that we're headed in the right direction, albeit slowly, on the road to a housing recovery," said Joe Robson, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Tulsa, OK. "That said, the November improvement was primarily on the multifamily side, and poor job markets and other economic factors are still keeping many potential buyers on the fence for the time being."

Single-family housing starts made up some of the ground they lost in October, posting a modest 2.1% gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 units in November. Meanwhile, multifamily starts rebounded from an all-time record low in the previous month with a 67.3% gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 92,000 units in November. Gains in housing production were registered across all regions of the country in November, with a 16.4% increase in the Northeast, a 3% gain in the Midwest, a 12.3% increase in the South and a nearly 2% gain in the West.

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