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Toshiba sells historic residence in Shinagawa

Furniture company Nitori Holdings has acquired a historic residence in Tokyo from Toshiba. The home, which was used by Toshiba as a reception hall for guests, sits on a sprawling 6,400 sqm of grounds in the Nishi-oi address in Shinagawa.

The traditional Japanese house was built in 1941 for Keitaro Miho, the president of Japanese record label Nippon Columbia. It was transferred to Toshiba in 1953. The site was originally part of a larger castle-like estate, with some parts of the original foundation walls said to be remaining within Toshiba’s grounds.

Forecast of new apartment prices in Tokyo from 2018 onwards

The Japan Real Estate Institute (JREI) has issued an updated medium-term forecast for the price of brand new apartments in Tokyo’s 23 wards over the next seven years. Price predictions have been revised updwards from last year’s forecast. In 2018, average new apartment prices are expected to be 994,000 Yen/sqm, up 0.5% from 2017 and 4.4% higher than their previous forecast.

Kyoto City sees 4,500 new hotel rooms added in 2017

Kyoto City saw an additional 4,532 hotel/accommodation rooms added in 2017, putting the city’s total inventory above 38,000 rooms. In the past 12 months over 3,000 rooms have been opened in simple lodgings, which refers to guest houses and low-priced hostels. The growing number of foreign tourists to the former capital has been a driving force behind the new supply.

The city had 38,419 rooms as at the end of 2017, up 13.4% from 2016. Hotels make up the largest share with 23,899 rooms, up 6.5% from the previous year. Traditional ryokans dropped 0.8% to 5,273 rooms, while simple lodgings saw a 50% increase to 9,247 rooms. Kyoto City’s survey only covered licensed accommodation, with unlicensed, illegal rooms not included in the total count.

Second share house company files for bankruptcy

In the wake of a widening investment loan fraud scandal, a second share house company in Tokyo has filed for bankruptcy.

The company operated by developing and selling share houses to individual investors and then managing the properties on behalf of the buyers, offering high yields and guaranteed rents. However, as was the case with the other defunct share house operator that filed for bankruptcy last month, the vacancy rates of the share houses was higher than forecast and the company was not able to make the guaranteed rent payments to investors.

Hakone to restrict short-term accommodation in holiday home areas

Kanagawa Prefecture has approved a special rule that will restrict minpaku-style short-term and overnight accommodation by hosts in the mountain-top hot-spring town of Hakone.

Under the new rule, short-term rentals are banned in 18 districts designated as Category I Tourist Districts located within Category I Exclusively Low-Rise Residential Zones in Hakone Town. Up to 80% of the homes in these districts are holiday homes.

Properties in these zones cannot be rented out for short-term stays between March 1 ~ June 1, August 1 ~ September 1, and October 1 ~ December 1. It is important to note that these are the popular tourist seasons for the town. Renting outside of these periods requires the host to register their accommodation.

How much should be allocated towards large-scale repairs and maintenance on a condo?

On May 11, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) released the results of a survey into the approximate costs of large-scale maintenance and repairs for apartment buildings. The goal of the survey is to provide apartment owners associations with a general idea of what the repair work should cost in an effort to reduce over-charging.

This is a useful guide for potential apartment buyers as you can check the amount of money in a building’s repair reserve fund before purchasing. Some buildings may have ample funds, providing some peace of mind, while others may have very little accumulated which would mean each apartment owner may have to pay out of pocket in the future or necessary maintenance won’t be carried out at all.

Buying an apartment with a garden

Now that we are entering summer, some of you may be looking for apartments with outdoor spaces. If you are buying or renting an apartment in Japan with a garden included there are some key points that you should be aware of.

With apartments, your ownership rights are limited to the interior of the apartment while exterior spaces such as balconies, terraces and gardens are considered part of the building’s communal space. The owner or occupant of each apartment is granted the exclusive right to use the balcony or garden space attached to their apartment. However, the occupant must follow the building’s bylaws which provide rules on how these outdoor spaces can and cannot be used. Barbecues, for example, are almost always banned due to issues regarding open fires and problems from smoke and smells affecting other residents in a building.

New apartment supply in Tokyo’s 23 wards drops 37% from last year

According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, 2,342 brand new apartments were released for sale across greater Tokyo in April, down 35.3% from March and down 14.6% from last year. The reason for the drop in supply is due to a smaller number of large-scale projects on the market compared to this time last year. More of these major projects are expected in the near future, and supply may soon return to normal levels.

The average sale price was 55,480,000 Yen, down 6.3% from last year, while the average price per square meter was 800,000 Yen, down 6.5% from last year.