Homeowner associations unprepared for foreign investors

The Nikkei Shimbun recently reported on issues faced by homeowner associations in buildings with a large number of foreign owners.

A survey by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in 2015 found that 85% of the surveyed real estate companies reported an increase in sales to foreign buyers over the past 10 years. Some reported that the cheaper, older buildings were providing popular, as long as they were in good locations.

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3rd quarter apartment transactions reach historic high

Reported transactions of second-hand apartments across greater Tokyo in the third quarter of 2019 reached the highest level seen for this quarter since REINS began recording data in 1990.

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Shibuya’s Silicon Valley status pushing rents to new highs

Thanks to its fast-growing status as Japan’s new tech center, Shibuya has outpaced Chiyoda as the most expensive office district in Tokyo.

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New apartment price in Tokyo exceeds 60 million Yen for first time in 28 years

The average price of a brand-new apartment released for sale across greater Tokyo in the first half of 2019 (April ~ September) was 60,060,000 Yen, up 4% from last year. This is the first time in 28 years to see the average price exceed 60,000,000 Yen for the first half of a year. In 1991 it was 61,370,000 Yen.

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Shibuya onsen to be converted into shared office space

An office conversion is planned for a long-shuttered spa and onsen building in downtown Shibuya. Shiespa, located 600 meters from Shibuya Station, opened in 2006 as a women-only spa and onsen. It closed its doors in August 2007 and has sat vacant ever since.

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Kamakura has less than 1,000 hotel rooms

Kamakura Cocon

Despite welcoming over 20 million annual tourists, Kamakura, a historic beachside city an hour by train from central Tokyo, has a surprisingly small number of hotel rooms. The mountain resort town of Hakone, also in Kanagawa Prefecture, has the same level of tourists but as many as 8,000 hotel rooms. Kamakura has just 980.

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Nara soy-sauce brewery to become boutique hotel

Nara-based Nanto Bank has set up a 1.5 billion Yen (approx. US$14 million) fund that will restore historic kominkas and convert them into tourist accommodation. Nara Kominka Machitsukuri Partners will start operations next month. The first project is a soy sauce brewery founded in the Edo period. The former storehouse will be converted into overnight accommodation.

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Office vacancy rates return to record low in Tokyo

Office rents in central Tokyo continue to climb with a 6.93% year-on-year increase reported in September. This is the 69th month in a row to see a year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, vacancy rates remain low with an average of 1.64%, equal to the recent historic low seen in May. The vacancy rate excluding new construction was 1.56% last month, down 0.7 points from last year.

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Central Tokyo apartment sale prices reach record high in September

According to REINS, a total of 3,589 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across greater Tokyo in September, up 38.9% from the previous month and up 10.6% from last year. This is the 4th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in transactions. The average sale price was 34,630,000 Yen, up 0.1% from the previous month and up 5.2% from last year. The average price per square meter was 537,900 Yen, down 0.2% from the previous month but up 4.7% from last year. 

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Student housing to be built under Chuo East Line

The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) is building student accommodation under the train tracks in Koganei, West Tokyo. The apartments will be located on a 400-meter stretch located right underneath the Chuo East Line between Musashi-Koganei and Higashi-Koganei Stations. 

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