* Nikkei ends at highest level since early Dec
* Turnover extremely thin at about 2/3 of average
* Brokerages, house builders among best gainers
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average edged up and closed at a 10 1/2-month high on Monday on Monday though uncertainty about Britain's exit from the European Union kept many investors on the sidelines.
The Nikkei share average rose 0.25% to 22,548.90, its highest finish since Dec. 3.
The broader Topix gained 0.41% to 1,628.60, and a broad range of shares rose with advancers outnumbering decliners by a ratio of roughly 7 to 3.
But turnover was among the lowest numbers this year at 1.53 trillion yen, about two-thirds of the average over the past year.
Trade was slow, with investors looking to the UK, where Parliament forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek a delay to an Oct. 31 deadline for Britain's departure from the bloc.
Many investors were away ahead of a Japanese public holiday on Tuesday for the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito, who ascended to the throne in May.
But Japanese shares have maintained their firm tone overall, on budding hopes that the worst may be over for technology sectors as Washington and Beijing agreed to an tentative truce on their trade war earlier this month.
Data earlier in the day showing shipments contracting for the 10th straight month in September did little to dent the mood.
Cyclical shares did well, with securities brokers subindex rising 1.9% to be the best performer among the Tokyo Stock Exchange's industry subindexes.
Daiwa Securities rose 2.5%, while Matsui Securities gained 2.1% Home builders were also among leading gainers, with Daiwa House Industry up 2.5% and Sekisui House up 1.9% at fresh three-decade highs.
Some chip-related shares slipped on profit-taking after their recent gains.
Screen Holdings dropped 0.3% after hitting a fresh one-year high.
Taiyo Yuden fell 2.7% while Shin-etsu Chemical dropped 1.3%. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Gerry Doyle)