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Housing prices, already inflated, are sure to be pushed higher still by new contract settlements in the building trades. A tentative settlement between union carpenters and homebuilders was reached this week in California. The new terms: as much as a 10.4 percent hike in wages the first year, plus benefits and another pay raise in 1982. Last week union carpenters in New Jersey ended a seven-week strike by agreeing to $4.75 in wage and benefit improvements over two years.

Meanwhile, 8,000 carpenters are off the job in Massachusetts, demanding a $7. 18-an-hour increase over two years.

Value of projects affected: more than $3 billion in New Jer sey and Massachusetts alone.m

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