Housing Supply Sales Through the Roof: Sign of a Quick Recovery?

We're all in a quandary about where the real estate and housing markets are going. Is it up or down or sideways, double-dipping or stuck in neutral? A welter of statistics -- from the Case Shiller Home Price Index to anecdotal stories on the street -- suggest movement in any number of directions.

Intrigued by a report that a Pleasanton, Calif., company you probably never heard of had a surprising surge in sales in the first quarter of 2010, HousingWatch dug a little deeper around the edges to see how the nuts-and-bolts industries related to housing are faring,

Simpson Strong-Tie, a subsidiary of Simpson Manufacturing, just reported sales of its structural connectors; anchors and other products for new construction; retrofitting; and D.I.Y. markets had grown by 13.4 percent over the same quarter a year ago.

Growth was strongest in the Midwest and West (excluding California) and the Northeast, but flat in California and the Southwestern states.

This must be good news for the housing market, right? Not so fast.