60-yr old office building in Tokyo to be renovated rather than redeveloped 

Although Tokyo’s Marunouchi and Otemachi business district has been seeing multiple skyscrapers go up in recent years, one vintage building from the 1950s has been faithfully protected by its owner.

The 9-storey Otemachi Building built by Mitsubishi Estate in 1958 celebrated its 60th birthday this April. It served as their headquarters until last year when they moved across the street to the recently completed 140 meter tall Otemachi Park Building.

Tokyo apartment sale prices increase for 69th month

According to REINS, 3,317 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across Greater Tokyo in June, up 19.1% from the previous month but down 0.5% from last year. The average sale price was 33,200,000 Yen, up 0.5% from the previous month and up 5.0% from last year. The average price per square meter was 519,000 Yen, up 1.6% from the previous month and up 4.6% from last year. This is the 66th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in sale prices.

Tokyo’s No. 2 Arterial Road to link bayside islands in 2022

The Tokyo government is aiming to have the No. 2 Arterial Road completed by 2022. This road will connect the man-made islands of Kachidoki, Harumi, Shin-Toyosu and Ariake with Shimbashi and provide more convenient access for trucks to access the new fish market and logistics facilities on the islands.

The opening of the road will be two years later than originally planned due to the delayed recreation of the Tsukiji Fish Market to Shin-Toyosu island. Part of the No. 2 road will need to pass through the fish market’s old location in Tsukiji, which means buildings will need to be demolished.

Government approves new law to deal with abandoned land issue

On June 6 Japan’s House of Councilors approved a new act concerning the use of abandoned land. The new law will go into effect from June 2019.

This law will grant local municipalities, private corporations and non-profits the right to use idle land for up to 10 years. This applies to land where the owners are unknown or cannot be contacted. If the owners make themselves known and object to the use of their land, the land will be returned to them at the end of the 10 year term. If the owners do not object, the term may be renewed.

Second Indigo Hotel to open in Inuyama in 2021

InterContinental Hotels Group will open their second Indigo Hotel in Japan in 2021. Hotel Indigo Inuyama Urakuen will replace the Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel located just outside of Nagoya City.

The Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel opened in 1965 with 123 rooms. The grounds include a Japanese tea house built for Oda Nagamasu (1548-1622), the younger brother of powerful daimyo Oda Nobunaga. The 400-year old tea house, called ‘Jo-an’, is considered one of the three best tea houses in Japan, and is designated as a National Treasure. It was relocated to the gardens by Meitetsu in 1972.

Vacant home rate in central Tokyo at 2% or lower

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) released their 2018 White Paper on Land for the Greater Tokyo Area on June 8. This year’s report covered the growing problem of vacant homes.

The vacant home issue in Japan refers to unused, idle homes and land in Japan and it is important not to confuse it with rental vacancy rates.

Vacant homes across Greater Tokyo have increased by 43% over the 10 years to 2013, with Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Yamanashi prefectures seeing a 62% increase, and Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa seeing a 52% increase. Tokyo saw a 7% increase.

Rosenka land values increase nationwide for 3rd year in a row

Shijo Street in Kyoto. Rosenka land values along this section of the street increased by 25.9% in 2018.

This year, Japan’s nationwide rosenka land values increased for the third year in a row with an annual rate of growth of 0.7%. The rate of growth has increased from 2017 which saw 0.4% and 2016 with 0.2%.

The Tokyo metropolitan area saw a 4.0% increase, up from a 3.2% increase seen in 2017. Kyoto Prefecture saw a 2.2% increase and Osaka saw a 1.4% increase. A total of 18 prefectures saw an overall increase in land values in 2018, up from 13 prefectures in 2017. Total real estate transactions by listed companies in 2017 reached 5 trillion Yen (approx. 45 billion USD), up 20% from 2016 and the third highest annual volume in history.

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