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The government pumps money into the housing market and shares in real estate agents soar on the stock market. In Britain on Wednesday, it happened the other way round: shares in Countrywide, a realtor, danced a little Spring jig on their debut in a £750-million ($1.163-billion) IPO, a couple of hours before the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, revealed his plans for the U.K.’s first government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme.

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