TOKYO - The number of new apartments put up for sale in the Tokyo area rose 26.2 percent in September from a year earlier for the first rise in 25 months, a property market research firm said on Wednesday.

The data is a bright sign for Japan's property market, which had been hit hard as Japan was stuck in its worst recession since World War Two.

New units put up for sale in the Tokyo area totalled 3,063 in September, the Real Estate Economic Institute said.

The contract ratio in the Tokyo metropolitan area rose to 73.9 percent from 69.3 percent in August, the institute said.

The ratio, the number of units sold as a percentage of units put on the market, is used to judge the market's health and a ratio below 70 suggests a weak market where consumers are reluctant to buy. (Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; Editing by Chris Gallagher)