We asked earlier this morning if higher interest rates are killing the housing recovery. The answer provided by the latest data out Tuesday morning? A resounding 'No.'
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the number of permits issued for new housing soared in September and October (the two months were released simultaneously due to the government shutdown). In August, builders took out permits to build new houses at an annual rate of 926,000 -- a number that rose 5 percent in September and 6 percent in October, leaping to 1.03 million. That is the highest since the summer of 2008.
Meanwhile, the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for 20 major cities rose 0.7 percent in September, and is now showing a 13.3 percent gain in home prices over the past year. That means that higher borrowing costs don't seem to have depressed home prices yet.