Demolition has started on an abandoned hotel and local eyesore adjacent to Okinawa’s Nakagusuku Castle that has been sitting idle for almost five decades. In a rare move for privately-owned property, the prefecture has taken charge of demolition due to the need for a careful investigation for any historic artifacts and to avoid harm to protected wildlife. Demolition is expected to be completed by March 2020, after which the land will be converted back to parkland.
The total supply of new apartments released for sale across greater Tokyo in April saw a year-on-year drop of 39.3% to just 1,421 apartments. This is the lowest supply seen for the month of April since 1992. The reason for the low supply is due to both developers putting their efforts towards selling current inventory, along with an expectation of low buyer turnout during the 10-day Golden Week holiday.
Kyoto City is fast becoming a hotspot for out-of-towners buying holiday homes.
The heritage-listed Watanabe Residence in Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture, is listed for sale for 25,800,000 Yen (approx. 235,000 USD), leaving locals concerned about its fate. The 150-year old merchant house is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property.
In 2018 the price-earnings ratio (PER) for brand-new apartments in greater Tokyo was 24.96, down from a record high of 28.66 seen in 2016 but up slightly from 24.49 seen in 2017. Almost 80% of the districts around train stations had PERs of over 22, while just 2.5% had PERs of under 18. A high PER means a low rental yield.
The average price of a brand-new 70 sqm (753 sq.ft) apartment across greater Tokyo was 73,440,000 Yen in 2018, up 9.9% from 2017 and up 22.4% from 2016. The average rent of a similarly sized new apartment was 241,631 Yen/month, up 7.4% from 2017 and up 37.6% from 2016.
Japan’s big four insurance companies are planning to increase home insurance premiums from October this year. This will be the first increase since 2015 and is the result of large typhoons and heavy rainfall events in 2018 that saw large payouts.
Marketing for condo sales in Harumi Flag – the sprawling development that will be temporarily used as the Athlete’s Village for the 2020 Summer Olympics – is off to a strong start with over 1,000 interested buyers visiting the show room over the 10-day Golden Week holiday in late April.
Details have come out for the large-scale future redevelopment of the Meiji Jingu Baseball Stadium and Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium district in central Tokyo. The 17.4-hectare site straddles Minato and Shinjuku wards and adjoins the new Olympic Stadium.
Reported sales of second-hand apartments across greater Tokyo in April 2019 reached 3,440 units, up 6.3% from the previous year and the highest level seen for the month of April since REINS began collecting data in 1990.
A number of investors may soon be in for a rude shock as the Asahi Shimbun newspaper has revealed rampant abuse of home loans for investment properties. Anyone caught out may see their loan immediately called in.