It has often been said that Japanese consumers prefer new construction over old. However, this way of thinking has started to change over the past few years with home buyers turning their attention to the existing home market. In 2016, sales of existing ‘second-hand’ apartments in greater Tokyo exceeded those of brand-new apartments for the first time ever. This has not gone unnoticed by Japan’s major real estate developers, who, once focusing solely on new construction, are now entering the growing renovation market. 15 of the top 20 developers are already active in this market.
Fuji Keizai, a marketing research and consulting group, forecasts over 27,000 homes and apartments to be renovated and sold across Japan by professional house-flippers in 2018, up 10% from 2017. By 2020, this number is forecasted to reach 35,000 units, with a total of 131.4 billion Yen spent on renovations.