New home starts on private residences fell 3% from October to November, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Wednesday.

Yet, analysts with Econoday, while noting the slowdown, say the November slowing in housing starts is "a minor pullback after strong gains the prior two months."

Starts in November came in at an annual rate of 861,000 units, which is 3% below the October estimate of 888,000 starts. Still, that figure is 21.6% above the November 2011 rate of 708,000 units. Comparatively, the nation saw a 5.3% increase in starts during the month of October and a 12.4% increase in September.

Single-family housing starts alone reached a rate of 565,000 last month, which is down 4.1% from 589,000 in October. Buildings with five or more units experienced 285,000 starts last month.

Building permits, on the other hand, grew with 899,000 permits filed in November, up 3.6% from October and 26.8% above the year earlier rate of 709,000 filings.

Authorizations for new single-family homes fell a slight 0.2% to 565,000 in November, down from 566,000 a month earlier.

The nation saw 677,000 housing completions in November. That figure is down 9.7% from 750,000 completions reported in October, but 16.1% above the November 2011 rate of 583,000 housing completions.

The sudden decline in housing starts was caused by construction slowdowns in certain regions, Econoday said.

"By region, starts in September were led down by a 19.2% drop in the West Census region, followed by the Northeast with a 5.2% decrease," the research firm explained. "The Midwest rose 3.3% while the South advanced 2.9%."

kpanchuk@housingwire.com