Sunday, January 2, 2011

November - housing starts rise 6.8%

Japan's housing starts in November rose 6.8 percent from a year earlier to 72,838 units on the back of demand for condominiums and owner-occupied houses, marking the sixth straight month of growth, the government said Monday.

The figure marked the second-lowest level for the month, following 68,198 units last year, since 1965 when comparable data became available, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

The ministry said while there are signs of recovery, housing starts remain at a low level and need "to be watched very carefully" amid the persistence of tough employment and income conditions.

In the January to November period, housing starts rose 2.7 percent from the year before to 738,609 units, meaning this year's total is certain to exceed last year's 775,277 units.

Starts on condominiums for sale surged 106.1 percent year on year to 8,922 units in November and those for single-family homes for sale rose 14.2 percent to 9,506 units.

Starts of owner-occupied houses increased 7.1 percent to 27,235 units during the same period, while those of rental houses dropped 9.5 percent to 26,703 units.

By region, housing starts increased 12.4 percent in the Tokyo metropolitan region, 8.6 percent in the Chubu region centering on Nagoya, 0.2 percent in the Kinki region including Osaka and 4.0 percent in the rest of the nation.

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