2011: Worst New Home Sales Year Ever?

New Home Sales
-New Home Sales for November were 315,000 (annualized)
-Previous was 307,000. Consensus was 314,000
-1.6% better than last month, 9.8% better than year ago
-Average sale price $242,900

While 315,000 is better than 307,000 the fact is that both are poor. Still lots of excess inventory created during the housing bubble to be sold, and 2011 looks to be the worst year in history for sales. On the optimistic side: this is the best since April, builder confidence is up, and new construction jumped last month.

Durable Goods Orders
-DG Orders, Month/Month change +3.8%
-DG Orders, Year/Year Change +12.1%
-Ex-transportation, Month/Month +0.3%
-Ex-transportation, Year/Year +7.2%
-Much of the overall gain is in aircraft

Personal Income and Spending
Personal Income, Month/Month +0.1 %
Consumer Spending, Month/Month +0.1 %
Core PCE price index, Month/Month +0.1 %
Core PCE price index, Year/Year 1.7 %

PCE is a measure of inflation geared for the consumer, and the Core numbers above exclude volatile food and energy prices. Real (inflation adjusted) wages are declining. The economy continues to leave the average family behind. In fact, a good part of the increase in Personal Income this year has been from the decline in Social Security contributions, money that has to be made up from somewhere at some time in the future.