Houses still safe

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THE HOUSING sector is still in fairly good shape despite recessionary gloom, and results from Alfred McAlpine, the housebuilding group, will be in line with expectations after "a further year of significant and sustained progress", said Oliver Whitehead, the chief executive, yesterday. "Site visitor numbers are holding up well against a background of subdued house price inflation," he said.

Earnings per share have been enhanced after buying back 7 per cent of the group's shares last autumn. The shares rose 7.5p to 156.5p.