Our house is painted a plum colour. Some areas look fine, but others appear dull and faded. What is causing this?

The paint probably is fading. I would suspect that the areas exposed to the most sunlight are those of concern. fascia and siding which face north east or west are most prone to fading.
Dark colours absorb more heat than light colours. The heat, along with aging, breaks down the pigments which give the paint its colour. Unfortunately, the only solution is to repaint.
Of course, if you use the same colour, you will experience this problem again. The long term solution is to use a lighter colour.

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