The winter weather caused sales of new homes to halve in the Northeast, while the West experienced a slight drop and the South and Midwest each reported gains, according to the Commerce Department report. Home values are appreciating at a slower rate since 2014, yet they continue to outpace wage gains. Average hourly wages grew 2.2 percent over the past 12 months, which is roughly half of the increase in home values, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday. Economists do see reasons why home sales should improve this spring.
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