October New Home Sales were 307,000 units, up from the revised 303,000 in September but a bit lower than the figure reported last month. Over the last 13 months new home sales averaged about the same 303,000 units. The inventory represents 6.3 months supply at current sales rates. The market is, at best, flat and still far down from both the boom times and what might be considered normal.
That foreclosures continue to haunt the market shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Data released today by the New York Federal Reserve Bank on consumer credit trends confirm that foreclosures are very much an issue. The chart shows the number of new consumers facing foreclosure and the percentage they represent of all consumers each quarter since late 1999. Both series peaked in 2009 at the worst of the recession and have come down substantially since then. However, the number and percentage of new consumers facing foreclosures remains about double what it was in the first half of the 2000s, a nasty reminder that both housing and the economy are experiencing difficulties.