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22Oct92 UK: COSTS OF LONGER DOLE QUEUES.

September was yet another grim month in the housing market as would-be buyers hesitated in the aftermath of Black Wednesday.Early indications, unsurprisingly, are that house builders are faring little better in October, and as Christmas looms little now remains of the 1992 selling season.With unemployment climbing, broker County NatWest believes a revival in the house prices rather than a change in interest rates would be the vital ingredient in any overall economic recovery.Looking forward, the broker warns that if a sharp rise in unemployment causes house prices to fall in 1993 the prospects for the two building sectors are 'not just sombre but very bleak indeed'.A 5 per cent house price fall in 1993 would mean house builders would make nothing before interest and would make a 'thumping loss' at the pre-tax level. Further write-downs in the value of and banks would also be 'inevitable,' says County.If this makes the prospect for housing-related materials bleak, County says 'there would be no reason to buy virtually any building share at all in the next few months'. Heavy building materials producers across Europe face falling demand, and falling prices and profits in 1993 and part of 1994, says the broker.