According to IHS, there are two, actually: The fall in immigration and the growing number of young people moving back in with their parents amid a frustratingly tough job market. These factors have contributed to slowest growth in the number of new households since the second World War.
The underlying reason why inventory remains unnervingly high is essentially the same however you see the troubled housing market: Overall economic weakness – in particular, unemployment, which federal officials last week reported was unchanged from August at 9.6%.
Here are some more detailed stats
Admittedly, the trends in immigration and "doubling up" aren't easy to track. Hard data on immigration does not exist, but IHS points out that households headed by those foreign born under the age of 35 dropped by 338,000 in 2009.
What's more, it appears more young people are moving back in with their parents or doubling up with others to save money. The number of households headed by 15 to 24 year-olds fell by 124,000 in 2009 from the previous year, while the number of households with six or more people increased by 355,000 or 8% during the same period. In fact, the number of households headed by all younger age groups – those in the 15 to 24, 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 age brackets -- fell in 2009, while the number in all the older age brackets increased.Read it all