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vital statistics

Architects' fees will increase by 10 per cent in the next five years, reaching a national total of £2,965.1 million per year, according to latest figures from market research firm MBD. This will represent a slowdown from the 22 per cent recorded by the company over the last 24 months.

The government has urged UK-based construction firms to bid for the contracts on the £10.9 billion Iraqi reconstruction programme being financed by the US leadership. George Bush has announced that British firms will be allowed to win primary contractor status in the work.

The estate agency arm of Harrods is currently marketing an 863-year lease on a private box at the Royal Albert Hall for £250,000, the equivalent of a semi-detached in Canterbury.

The UK's biggest property developer, Land Securities, has predicted an upturn in London's office market. Chief executive Ian Henderson has admitted the company is negotiating a deal

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