Building permits and home prices both made gains in October while pending home sales fell for the fifth straight month, according to data released this week from the Census Bureau, S&P Case-Shiller and the National Association of Realtors, respectively.

What gives?

Trulia’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko noted in a blog post that the three releases that appear on the surface to indicate varying health of the housing market actually represent a “strong 24 hours for housing data.”

The dip in pending home sales, Kolko notes, was influenced by the government shutdown in the first half of October that hampered access to credit and masked a larger trend of a drop in the number of distressed sales relative to conventional sales. The shift to more conventional sales indicates the market is returning to normal and a “key part of the housing recovery,” he wrote.

“The best news for the housing recovery, though, is the strong permits data,” Kolko noted. Permits hit a five-year high in October. “The jump in permits points to more construction activity in the next month or two, and more inventory coming onto the market next year,” Kolko wrote.

Source: Trulia

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