(Updates with forecast figures in second paragraph.)
June 16 (Bloomberg) -- The number of condominiums offered for sale in greater Tokyo area rose less-than-expected in May as some developers delayed plans to sell following the March earthquake, said the Real Estate Economic Research Institute.
A total of 3,914 units went on sale last month, 3.6 percent higher from a year earlier, according to a report by the Tokyo- based institute. That compares with 5,500 units that were predicted to be sold last month, it said. A total of 5,500 units are expected to be sold in June, the report said.
Developers held back sales on concerns that demand will decline after a magnitude-9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11 crippled a nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture, about 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of Tokyo. Consumer confidence remained near a two-year low in May, a government report showed following the catastrophe that left more than 23,000 people dead or missing.
“Some developers have delayed their sales plans as they had to close their model rooms following the disaster,” said Akio Fukuda, a manager, at the institute. “That trend may be changing, but we need to see how things go next month to make any definite calls.”
The Topix Real Estate Index, measuring 44 property-related stocks, accelerated declines following the report, falling 2.5 percent as of 2:08 p.m. in Tokyo, compared with the 1.3 percent in the benchmark index.
--Editors: Tomoko Yamazaki, Linus Chua 4
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