Realtors reject building cost hikes

JIJI

The real estate industry, citing surges in the cost of labor and materials, has voiced opposition to further hikes in construction costs as builders demand higher pay.

“We won’t accept easy hikes,” Keiji Kimura, chairman of the Real Estate Companies Association of Japan and chairman of Mitsubishi Estate Co., said Thursday at a news conference.

“Construction costs have risen 20 to 30 percent over the last few years to almost the levels prior to the ‘Lehman shock,’ ” Kimura said, referring to the September 2008 collapse of the U.S. investment bank that triggered the global financial crisis.

“We haven’t been able to raise condominium prices to cover the growth in building costs,” he stressed.

To address labor shortages, Kimura called on the construction industry to take on skilled foreign workers.