The number of abandoned homes hit a record high of 8.46 million as of Oct. 1, rising by 260,000 over five years, government data showed Friday.

Abandoned homes as a proportion of total housing stock also hit a record high at 13.6 percent, up 0.1 point from the previous survey five years earlier.

The total number of homes in Japan increased by 1.8 million to 62.4 million, of which 53.7 million were occupied, up 1.6 million from the previous survey, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

Yamanashi Prefecture had the highest proportion of abandoned homes at 21.3 percent, followed by Wakayama Prefecture at 20.3 percent.

The prefectures with the lowest proportions of vacant homes were Saitama and Okinawa.