Home building rose 8.9 percent in November to an annualized rate of 574,000, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Wednesday.

The rate was still 12.4 percent below what it was in November 2008, but the increases were nationwide, with the Northeast leading the trend with housing starts rising 16.4 percent. Housing starts rose 12.3 percent in the South, 3 percent in the Midwest and 1.9 percent in the West.

Analysts attributed the increase to the extension and expansion of the home buyer's tax credit. David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, is cautiously optimistic. The new credit will have an impact as we move into 2010 and consumers plan for that credit availability, and builders begin to answer expected demand in the spring, he says.

Source: CNNMoney.com, Hibah Yousuf (12/16/2009)