Shinjuku plans to ban short-term accommodation on weekdays

Tokyo’s Shinjuku district is finalizing plans that will impose stricter limitations on short-term accommodation in some residential zones. The city is currently in the process of seeking public comments that will help shape the final regulations.

Under the proposal, properties located in exclusive residential zones cannot be let out to guests from Monday through Thursday, limiting the maximum allowable nights per year to 156, below the national government’s proposed limit of 180 nights per year.

What are exclusive residential zones?

Tokyo apartment sale prices increase for 60th consecutive month

According to REINS, 3,222 second-hand apartments were sold across greater Tokyo in September, up 42.3% from the previous month and up 2.3% from last year. The average sale price was 32,260,000 Yen, down 0.3% from the previous month but up 3.2% from last year. The average price per square meter was 506,700 Yen, up 0.3% from the previous month and up 3.3% from last year. This is the 57th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in sale prices. The average building age was 21.02 years.

In the Tokyo metropolitan area, 1,686 second-hand apartments were sold, up 47.6% from the previous month and up 2.1% from last year. The average sale price was 39,500,000 Yen, down 2.1% from the previous month but up 3.0% from last year. The average price per square meter was 670,100 Yen, down 2.1% from the previous month but up 3.5% from last year. This is the 60th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in sale prices. The average building age was 19.69 years.

Renovating a 30-year old house into a zero-energy home

If you want a well-insulated house in Japan you usually need to build it yourself. If you are looking at an older house to buy or rent, insulation is usually lacking, unless the original owner decided to go the extra mile to create a home with insulation. For the majority of older homes, however, they tend to be built cheaply and can be cold in winter and hot in summer.

The construction and home building industry in Japan has come a long way in recent years with active efforts to create zero-energy homes. There are a lot of options now for double or triple-glazed glass windows, non-aluminum frames, insulation and thermal breaks.

These insulation options are not just limited to new construction, it is possible to renovate an existing home to make it a zero-energy home.

One of these projects was recently completed in Daizawa near Shimo-kitazawa Station in Tokyo.

Kuwait Embassy to be rebuilt

Tokyo will lose another one of Kenzo Tange’s works, with the Kuwait Embassy building in Tokyo due to be demolished and rebuilt next year.

The 47-year old building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005) and completed in 1970. Tange is considered one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, designing numerous modernist buildings across Japan and the world.

The 4,100 sqm, 7-storey embassy building is located in Minato ward’s Mita district. The upper floors housed the Ambassador’s Residence, while lower floors contained offices. Construction is scheduled to start in April 2018, with completion by April 2020. The new building will be 5-storeys with a total floor area of 3,500 sqm. Suga Architects Office has been selected as the design firm for the new building. Plans on their website show a glass building with a dramatic draped rooftop.

Double-income households supporting property prices

According to the NLI Research Institute, the number of households in Japan with a total annual income of over 7 million Yen (approx. 62,000 USD) reached 250,000 in 2016, an increase of 20% since 2013.

While wage growth remains sluggish, the growing number of women entering the workforce has pushed up household incomes. The White Paper on the Labor Economy issued by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry reported that Japan’s female labor force in 2016 grew by 400,000 over 12 months, far exceeding the 90,000 growth in the male labor force over the same period.

1 in 10 residents in Tokyo’s Minato ward are company presidents

According to data released by Tokyo Shoko Research on September 8, one in ten residents in Tokyo’s Minato ward are company presidents, making it the most highly concentrated of all of Tokyo’s 23 wards. Minato was closely followed by Chiyoda and Shibuya wards which both have a concentration of 8.62%.

Katsushika ward had the lowest percentage with 2.40%.

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