August housing starts down 6.7%

Housing starts in Japan declined 6.7 percent in August from a year earlier to 97,653 units, down for the second straight month, the government said Monday.

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry said starts declined in all three categories: made-to-order houses, homes for rent, and homes for sale, including condominiums.

Starts on made-to-order houses during the month fell to 30,171, down 8.6 percent for the third straight monthly drop.

Those on homes for rent dropped 2.3 percent to 38,873, for the first dip in five months.

Starts on homes for sale fell 11.2 percent to 27,683 for the second consecutive month of decline. Condominium starts declined 9.2 percent to 18,102 units for the second straight monthly fall. Starts on houses for sale dropped 14 percent to 9,525 for the 12th straight month of decline.

The ministry said starts dropped 2.2 percent in the Tokyo metropolitan area, 3.8 percent in the Chubu region, and 15.1 percent in the Kinki region. Other regions fell 8.5 percent overall.