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vital statistics

Privately owned Irish property group Shelbourne Developments has bought Richard Rogers' landmark Lloyd's Building.

The firm paid £245 million for the insurance icon - a substantial jump in price from the £186 million paid when the site last changed hands in 1996.

House price inflation will slow to 8 per cent this year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. In 2003 the rate was an almost unprecedented 15.4 per cent.

Concerns are growing for the future of many of Edinburgh's historic sandstone tenements.The British Geological Survey has found that up to 10 per cent of them are constructed from low-grade stone that is already reverting to sand.

A secret buyer has forked out £2.5 million to guarantee the highest living space in the UK.Estate agents have confirmed that the mystery man has already bought the unfinished penthouse in Ian Simpson Architects'47-storey Beetham Tower in Manchester.

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