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PRIVATE HOUSING MARKET

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New commissions have gone up by 8 per cent and production drawings a staggering 46 per cent. The housing market hit a quiet patch at 1998's end and the beginning of 1999, but is rising again. Extensions delivered a fifth of all jobs, though far less than that in terms of value. Alterations represented 10 per cent of jobs, showing that Britain still likes to make do and tinker.

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