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Our demand for a dwelling, regardless of whether it is owned or rented, stems from a basic need to be protected from the extremes of the weather and to secure our possessions. Once these objectives have been achieved, individuals are in a position to consider the other attributes of a house: its structural attributes, such as it size and age; whether it has a garden and central heating; and any locational advantages it may have with respect to its proximity to workplaces, schools, leisure amenities and bus services.

SUPPLY Supply refers to the amount of a good or service that one or more producers plan to sell during a given time period. As we have seen in the case of demand, it is also possible to identify a set of independent variables that in combination influence a producer's decision of whether or not to supply a good or service. These can be set out within the producer's supply function. The supply function and the supply curve Apart from a slight change in notation and differences in some of the independent variables, we may write down a supply function in exactly the same way as a demand function, specifically: Os = f (independent variables) Demand and Supply 37 where Q.

Intuitively, we might expect that industries characterised by a few large firms with established brand names (which provide a potentially costly entry barrier for new firms) will be less competitive than industries containing a large number of small firms with a limited opportunity to differentiate their product from that of their competitors. Although the construction industry includes some very well-known household names, for example the Bryant Group, Blue Circle Industries and Tarmac. it continues to be dominated by a large number of relatively small firms.

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