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vital statistics

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Public-sector house-building has fallen 46 per cent since 1993 to 23,800 units in 1998, says the rics

There are 753,200 empty homes in England, says the Guardian: 623,000 in the private sector; 81,700 council; 29,300 housing association; and 19,000 government (such as MoD).

1999's first quarter saw 49 per cent of surveyors experiencing a rise in output, compared with 12 per cent seeing a fall, says the rics.

There are 832,000 small building businesses in the uk employing 1.6 million workers, says the Telegraph.

A shed used as an artist's studio is expected to fetch £325,000 at auction this month. The Kensington building is 4.5m by 7.5m and has a 1.2m-wide hallway.

The average price of farmland - £6529 per hectare - is down 17 per cent from its zenith during the third quarter of 1997, says the rics.

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