• Kyodo News

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Housing starts turned upward in 2010, rising 3.1 percent from the previous year to 813,126 units, the infrastructure ministry said Monday.

They still have a ways to go after taking a 27.9 percent year-on-year plunge in 2009, it said.

Owner-occupied housing starts last year rose 7.2 percent to 305,221 units, while rental homes fell 7.3 percent to 298,014 units in a second yearly drop.

Starts on homes for sale by developers soared 19.6 percent to 201,888 units, while condominiums rose 18.2 percent to 90,597 units and single-family houses rose for the first rise in four years to 110,358 units, up 20.9 percent.

By region, housing starts in the Tokyo metropolitan area saw a 7.4 percent rise.

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