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Hyogo housing starts up 30.4% in April-Sept.

Housing starts in Hyogo Prefecture during April-September 1996 increased 30.4% from a year earlier to 69,622 units, the highest for the prefecture for a six-month period, said the prefectural survey released on December 16.The figure topped the 68,126 units in fiscal 1994 and is the second highest in Japan after Tokyo's 87,929.
Housing starts grew 15.6% nationwide during the first fiscal half mainly because developers and individuals opted to build before the scheduled consumption tax hike to 5% in April 1997, from 3% at present.In the prefecture, such orders placed prior to the tax increase added to quake-related reconstruction.
The Kobe area saw housing starts jump 57.1% to 28,379 units.The 20 cities and towns damaged by the 1995 earthquake saw housing starts rise 29.2% to 55,865, bringing the total since February 1995 to 156,976.
By type of housing, construction of condominiums and other collective housing units surged 77.3% to 46,184 units.Of them, condominium units totaled 12,736, more than double the 6,309 units of the previous year.On the other hand, detached housing units built by individual land owners fell 22.1%.
Construction of collective housing units has led housing starts and reconstruction demand in the prefecture, the survey concluded.