Buyers line up for abandoned amusement park in Miyagi

kejonuma-leisure-land-1

The owner of an abandoned amusement park and ‘haunted spot’ in Miyagi Prefecture is reportedly looking for a buyer.

Kejonuma Leisure Land opened in 1979 and welcomed as many as 200,000 visitors a year during its peak. After the crash of the bubble economy in the early 1990s, many of Japan’s amusement parks suffered from declining visitor numbers. The park closed in 2001 and the buildings have fallen into serious disrepair.

New apartment prices in Sendai 20% higher than bubble era

Sendai

New condominium prices in the Sendai area continue to surge, with the average price in the first half of 2015 increasing by 10% from the previous year to 42,620,000 Yen (343,000 USD). This price is now around 40% higher than pre-Tohoku earthquake prices and 20% higher than prices during Japan’s asset price bubble in the late 1980s.

Construction costs have increased following the disaster due, but the increase in prices has been met with an increase in demand and a relative shortage in supply of new construction.

Miyagi Prefecture’s vacancy rate set to rise

Local governments in Miyagi Prefecture are paying close attention to vacancy rate trends as demand for temporary housing following the Tohoku disaster is expected to be short-lived.

The prefecture has a vacancy rate of 9.4%, making it the lowest in Japan and the only prefecture with a single digit vacancy rate. The low number of vacant houses, however, can be largely attributed to a steep rise demand for temporary housing from residents displaced by the 2011 Tohoku disaster.

There are concerns that the vacancy rate will start to climb again as the public housing projects built for these residents are gradually completed.

Two small towns offering free homes to attract new residents

Tsuwano Shimane
Tsuwano Town, Shimane Prefecture

In an effort to attract young families from outside the area, two small towns are offering free house and land packages.

Miyagi Prefecture

The town of Shichikashuku in Miyagi Prefecture will provide a ‘rent-to-own’ house to qualifying residents. After renting the home for 20 years, the tenants will receive the house and land for free.

Accommodation shortages creating headaches for businesses in Miyagi and Iwate

The disaster-hit Tohoku region is experiencing a severe shortage in rental accommodation and local real estate companies are hurting.

“Despite inquiries increasing day by day, we have no properties on our books. We have clients in our office but no properties to show them. Our revenues are plummeting.” – President of a property management company in Sendai City.

The months of February and March are typically the busiest and provide the largest revenues for the company, however they currently have no vacant studio apartments and accommodation is severely limited.

Tsunami-damaged kominka to be moved to Shikoku

Many of Japan’s cultural properties were also damaged or destroyed by the March 11 Tohoku Disaster, including a 300 year old farmhouse (kominka) in Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture.

The “Endo Residence” is over 500 meters from the coast, yet was picked up and moved about 20 meters by the March 11 tsunami. Despite the house being warped, the daikoku-bashira and thatched roof remain mostly intact in their original shape.

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