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According to the latest from the U.S. Census Bureau, sales of new homes fell almost 7 percent in January from the month before. The monthly numbers bounce around a lot, but new home sales have been sluggish for the past several months. One reason: Not as many new homes are getting built. That’s fueling a booming remodeling industry as more people live in older homes and seek to "age in place." A report from Harvard University found that spending on home improvement and repair has increased by 50 percent since the recession.

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Follow Amy Scott at @amyreports