More good housing market news, this time from the Commerce Department, which reported today that new home construction rose in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000 — the highest rate since the Summer of 2008. Compared to October 2011, housing starts were up nearly 42%.

This marks the fourth straight month of improvement. Last month, we reported that residential construction starts jumped 15% nationwide in September over August, with construction of houses and apartment buildings rising to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the National Association of Home Builders is reporting that U.S. home builders are more optimistic now than they have been in years. “A reading of their confidence rose for the seventh consecutive month in November to reach its highest level in more than six years, the National Association of Home Builders said,” reported the WSJ. “The report also said they are seeing a jump in prospective buyers at a level not seen since April 2006.”

In other housing market news, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned homes are on track to hit their highest annual level since 2007. Existing home sales in October were up 10.9% from a year earlier, marking the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year home-sales gains.

Photo:  860 Devon Avenue, a rare Wilshire Corridor Development opportunity zoned for six stories of residential.