Single-family housing starts jumped almost 7% in November from the prior month to the highest level since April, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

Single-family housing starts rose to a 465,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in November from a 435,000 rate in October.

Real estate analysts were expecting a pop in multifamily starts, but the report revealed an 18% decline in apartment construction from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 72,000 units in November.

Multifamily starts have plunged 57% since August.

Mike Larson, a real estate analyst at Weiss Research, noted that home prices are cheap and lenders have stopped tightening loan standards. But he said he expects little more than a "stabilization" in housing construction in 2011. "Housing and construction lack the catalysts for a robust recovery," Larson said.

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