U.S. home prices rose at the fastest 12-month pace in more than three years in 2017, as potential homebuyers fought over a limited number of available properties.

Standard & Poor’s says Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index jumped 6.3% in 2017, the most since June 2014. Home prices are rising much faster than wages and overall measure of inflation.

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Steady hiring and broad economic growth are making it easier for more Americans to afford a house, spurring demand. Yet fewer Americans are listing their homes for sale, in some cases because they would face a higher mortgage rate if they bought a new home. The number of homes for sale in January was the lowest for that month on records dating back to 1999.

David Blitzer, managing director at S&P Dow Jones indices, compared the run-up in home prices to the stock market gains of the past year.

“The rise in home prices should be causing the same nervous wonder aimed at the stock market after its recent bout of volatility,” Blitzer says. “We are experiencing a boom in home prices.”

Home prices in the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20 city index have soared 62% from their low point in the housing bust, Blitzer says. That’s much faster than the 12.4% increase in inflation.

Still, sales of existing homes have stalled in the past two months and may remain slow in response to sharp increases in mortgage rates since the beginning of the year. While the average 30-year mortgage rate of 4.4% is low by historic standards, that’s up from 4% at the beginning of the year. Sharp increases can slow sales.

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A persistent slowdown in sales could rein in the pace of price appreciation. That might force some homeowners to list their homes for sale, before price gains slowed further, Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, says.

Existing home sales dropped in January by the most in three years. New home sales also fell in January. Unseasonably cold weather may have pulled down sales across the board.

Update on manufactured goods

New orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell 3.7% in January, the biggest decline since July 2017, following two months of increases that reflected strength in the country’s industry.

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The Commerce Department says Tuesday that orders were depressed by a 10% drop in demand for transportation equipment, a category that can bounce around from month to month. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders slipped only 0.3%. Orders for defence capital goods plunged 26.3%. Excluding defence, new durable goods orders fell 2.7%.

Overall orders in January for durable goods, which are meant to last at least three years, decreased 3.7% to $239.7 billion. Orders were up 5.8% for the full year 2017, the best showing in six years.

American manufacturers have benefited from a pickup in global economic growth and a weaker dollar, which makes U.S. goods less expensive in foreign markets.

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