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Record low mortgage rates and the prospect of a consumption tax hike that will add the price of a new Toyota Corolla to the cost of an average home spurred Sumiko Morigaki into action.

“Tax hikes have been looming, so that gave me a push to buy,” said Morigaki, 43, a manager at an apparel retailer in Tokyo, who bought a three-bedroom condominium in Kanagawa Prefecture earlier this year.

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