Economy watchers were delightfully surprised by the surge in new homes and housing permits in September to levels that haven't been seen since before the 2008 financial crisis. Housing starts jumped more than 15 percent to 872,000 new homes in September, more than 100,000 above the forecast set by analysts. Another 894,000 permits were handed out as well.

As this chart from Reuters shows, the numbers are still well below historic averages, but a makred improvement after the collapse of the last four years. Like most economic measures these days—unemployment, car sales, stocks, retail, consumer confidence—the economy is not where everyone would like, but it appears to be heading in the right direction.

In fact, it's starting to look like no matter who wins the election in November, they will get to oversee an economy on the rebound—even if their own efforts had very little to do with it. Not a bad bonus prize for the winner.