• Kyodo, JIJI

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Last year developers in Japan put the lowest number of condominium units on the market in 43 years as elevated prices, reflecting higher labor costs amid a labor shortage, plus rises in materials and land prices affected demand, a research firm has said.

The number of condos listed for sale nationwide fell 12.0 percent from the previous year to 70,660 units, the first decline in three years and the lowest since 49,955 units were listed in 1976, the Real Estate Economic Institute said Thursday.

The average unit price rose 0.6 percent to ¥47.87 million, topping the previous record for the third straight year due to higher labor costs in the construction industry and rising land prices, the institute said.

Weak demand for condominiums in the Tokyo metropolitan area is slowly spreading to other parts of Japan, according to the institute.

New condo supply dropped 15.9 percent in the region, which also includes Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures and makes up more than 40 percent of total supply.

The downward trend is expected to continue this year, with the institute forecasting supply will fall 0.9 percent to 70,000 units.

The average price in the Tokyo metropolitan area grew 1.9 percent, to ¥59.8 million, and that in the Kinki region — which includes Osaka Prefecture — rose 0.6 percent, to ¥38.66 million, the institute said.

Among major regional cities, Sapporo and Sendai saw average prices rise, while prices declined in Nagoya, Hiroshima and Fukuoka partly because of an increase in supplies of condominiums mainly for single-member households for investment.

New condominium supply also fell in the Kinki area, and the Tokai-Chukyo region.

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