US housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000 by the end of November 2010, up 3.9% on the previous month, but down 5.8% on the previous year, according to Random Lengths.

The increase in starts was the first monthly rise since August and is being attributed to a 6.9% increase in single-family construction.

The National Association of Home Builders said its members anticipated a slow improvement in 2011 and were “cautiously” replenishing inventories as a result.