Puzzle this one out.
House prices as measured by Halifax, which is well placed to know, have risen by 3.5 per cent over the past three months - nearly 15 per cent a year, that is, if it goes on.
It is a number that simply does not fit with a two-percent inflation target. The Bank of England used to argue that the house-price boom was a fringe issue, a one- off adjustment that would burn itself out. But by the look of these numbers from Halifax it is starting all over again.
This revival comes while first-time buyers are still supposedly priced out of the market. So much so that somebody the other day blamed the binge-drinking epidemic on house prices - if you cannot afford to buy a home you drink the money you would otherwise be spending on a mortgage.
Nor has there been a shake-out of the housing market, let alone the dreaded collapse. The Halifax index fell in only five of the months between last October and May and not once by more than one per cent. Those loss-making months were interspersed with small gains, so that the net loss was just 1.2 per cent.
Note, too, the turning point came in June, three months before the Bank of England cut interest rates in August.
Its long delay in lowering the cost of borrowing had an impact all right. It slowed activity in the housing market dramatically. But it did next to nothing to house prices.
Instead, it killed off the shopping boom - and only partly because people who don't move house don't buy much furniture.
Some even stopped window shopping. An outfit called Footfall monitors the number of people going into shops regardless of whether they buy anything. Yesterday it reported that the total last month was 3.3 per cent down on September last year.
That is not slower growth, it is fewer feet on the floor. Wondering whether this was due to July's bomb explosions in London or worries about a petrol shortage if refineries were blockaded, Footfall asked individuals who said they were cutting back on their spending, not just their window shopping, the reason why.
Nearly two-thirds cited their existing debt. They felt they had borrowed enough.
So far there is no sign of oil prices altering anybody's behaviour or squeezing their spending power. The underlying price of petrol may have doubled, but when 64p a litre goes to Gordon Brown anyway, few weekend motorists notice. It may be different when this autumn's utility price increases pop up on the winter fuel bills.
Now it looks as if the manufacturing recovery that masked the impact of MG Rover's collapse all through the summer may be fizzling out.
So what will the Bank of England make of it? The knock-on effects of $60 oil have still to work through the economy. Until they do, another interest rate cut would be a gamble - and house prices make it more so.
Yet industry very probably needs cheaper money to help it to escape another dreary winter and the shopkeepers face a dismal Christmas without it. There may not be a right answer.