Japan land prices increase in 91% of locations – highest share in history

According to the quarterly LOOK report issued by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in the first quarter of 2018, land prices have increased in 91% of the surveyed locations. This is the first time the percentage has exceeded 90% in the history of reporting.

The main factors behind the rising land prices include positive conditions for the office market in central Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, major redevelopment projects, surging tourism numbers and expenditure, and strong demand for apartments that are close to transport. These factors are also encouraging investment into the office, retail, hotel and residential sector.

New apartment supply shrinks for 2nd month in a row

According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, 2,462 brand new apartments were released for sale across greater Tokyo in May, up 5.1% from the previous month but down 5.4% from last year. The average sale price was 60,300,000 Yen, up 8.7% from the previous month and up 0.8% from last year. The average price per square meter was 895,000 Yen, up 11.9% from the previous month and up 3.9% from last year.

Details released on luxury apartment tower for Shibuya City Office redevelopment

Additional details have been released for the residential apartment tower planned as part of the Shibuya City Office redevelopment. The new high-rise will be called Park Court Shibuya The Tower. The 39-storey apartment building will have 505 apartments, of which 355 will be made available for sale. Apartment sizes will range from 40 ~ 208 sqm (430 ~ 2,238 sq.ft).

This will be a leasehold property with the land to be returned to Shibuya City at the end of the 70-year term. The redevelopment of Shibuya’s City Hall will partly be covered by the land leasehold revenue. The new city hall buildings are due to open in January 2019, while the adjoining public hall will open in the following May.

Whole building investment scam widens

The scandal surrounding dubious lending practices and falsified loan documents on investment properties widened last week with the Asahi Shimbun newspaper obtaining over 1,000 records of correspondence that allegedly implicates real estate agents and several Suruga Bank employees. The correspondence, which took place via email and LINE messages, is alleged to show the bank staff receiving numerous falsified documents including faked rent rolls for investment buildings.

Sale falls through for 91-yr old former bank building in Kyushu

The sale of a city-owned historic building in Kurume, Kyushu, fell through recently, with the city now considering future options for sale. The building was built in 1927 as the Kurume Branch for the 77 Bank (now the Bank of Fukuoka). In 1968 it was sold to Kurume City and had been used as a public library annex and archives up until 2010. The exterior and interior remains largely unchanged from its original condition.

Tokyo apartment sale prices increase for 68th month

According to REINS, 2,785 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across greater Tokyo in May, down 14.0% from the previous month and down 6.6% from last year. The average sale price was 33,050,000 Yen, down 1.8% from the previous month but up 4.2% from last year. The average price per square meter was 510,700 Yen, down 1.9% from the previous month but up 3.2% from last year. This is the 65th month in a row to see a year-on-year increase in sale prices.

Developers lose appeal on unfinished apartment building in Bunkyo-ku

The two developers of a 107-unit condominium in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward that lost its building permit two months prior to completion have lost their appeal against the city in a court ruling on May 24.

Construction of the 8-storey ‘Le Cinq Koishikawa Korakuen’ building began in 2013. In early November 2015, just two months prior to completion, the city revoked the building’s construction certificate due to a major design flaw, effectively halting construction. Under the Building Standards Act, multi-dwelling buildings must have emergency escape stairs providing a direct exit outdoors. This building’s emergency stairs exited into the garage, which is 2.5 meters above ground level and 19 meters from the outside.