The commerce department released September new home sales yesterday. The number of new homes sold in September came in at an annual rate of 313,000—13,000 more than economists’ average estimate. But new home prices tumbled to a post-bubble low. The average price of a new home in the U.S. fell to $243,900 in September—the lowest price in eight years.
Falling house prices along with stubbornly high unemployment, stock market volatility, and incompetence in Washington are taking a toll on consumers. In October, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index (the expectations component) plunged deep into recessionary territory. The index has only been lower twice—both were marked by deep recessions.