FRANCE'S home-building industry has been slowing for the past nine months, a survey of executives by the National Statistics Institute (INSET) shows. During the three months to the end of last month, demand for new homes fell, the industry executives reported. This was the third consecutive quarter of decline, following a two-year improvement. The slackening of demand was being felt primarily in the private sector, with state-funded construction stable, INSET said. In line with lower demand, prices fell in the quarter, according to the executives. This was the second consecutive quarterly fall, following 15 months of stronger prices. France's overall inflation rate of 1.6 per cent is one of Europe's lowest. The INSET survey came just two days after a similar one covering the construction sector as a whole. It showed construction business slackened in the quarter to January after growing in the previous 15 months.