Construction of new homes jumped nearly 42 percent between October 2011 and last month, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Month-to-month, the increase was 3.6 percent.
It marked the largest increase in four years.

At the same time, consumer confidence increased, according to the findings.

The Northeast and the South saw a drop in the the September -to-October figures,  but year-to-year growth was up 10.8 percent and 34.3 percent respectively.

The new data underscore the continued improvement in the housing market.

Multifamily housing drove the rise. Single-family home starts were essentially flat, down 0.2 percent from the month prior.

Other recent studies showed home prices and demand have risen while supply has shrunk.

On Monday, The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes increased 2.1 percent  in October. Property values also rose over the past 12 months by the most in seven years, according to the survey.

And a National Association of Home Builders’ survey showed confidence also jumped in November to its highest level since 2006

“The housing industry is in a recovery,” Larry Sorsby, chief financial officer of Hovnanian Enterprises, told Bloomberg.  “Those builders that survived the unprecedented downturn of the last six years are in a good position not only to survive but to thrive.”

Analysts credit the extended period of low interest rates and a growing sense of confidence about the economic recovery.