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vital statistics

Marks Barfield Architects' London Eye was the top admission-charging attraction last year, with 4.09 million people rolling up for a ride.The Tower of London was second, with the Eden Project third.

The V&A's 'Art Deco 1919-39' exhibition was the most successful show in the museum's history, drawing 360,000 visitors from March to July. The show broke the record of 231,000 visitors set by 'Art Nouveau 1890-1914', which was staged in 2000.

A price cut of more than £200,000 on luxury new flats is thought to be the biggest ever in London.Three-bed flats at Eagle Wharf, Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, were on the market for £1.2 million last March but can now be bought for £995,000.

The salary of the average first-time homebuyer is 64 per cent higher than it was in 1996, says the Ernst & Young Item Club. It has risen from £19,740 in 1996 at the start of the housing boom to £32,328 this May. The average first-time buyer has to find some £27,000 for a deposit.

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