Japanese Real Estate News Summary January 15 to 21, 2016

This was a busy news week, as China’s economic woes and tumultuous equity markets dominated headlines. Meanwhile, several Japanese real estate industry organizations came out with 2015 annual data and forecasts for 2016.

A domestic highlight (and Real Estate Japan’s most-read news article) for the week was the Ministry of Land, Industry, Transport and Tourism’s announcement that it is working on a plan to convert the country’s 8.2 million vacant houses into “quasi-public housing” for low-income families with children.

Below is a summary of Japanese real estate news pulled from our blog and sources around the internet.

Government Plans to Turn Japan’s Abandoned Houses Into Quasi-Public Housing

Real Estate Japan

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has announced that it plans to introduce measures to convert the growing glut of vacant and abandoned houses in Japan into quasi-public housing(準公営住宅).

Central Tokyo Condo Sales Price Per Sqm: Lowest Since November 2014

Real Estate Japan

The average price per square meter for a re-sale condominium sold in December in Tokyo’s three central wards (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato) dropped to 968,300 yen ($8,230) per sqm ($765 per square feet), the lowest price since November 2014 and a year-on-year drop of 3.0%, according to REINS.

This breaks a streak of 31 consecutive months (from May 2013 to November 2015) of year-on-year increases in the average price per sqm for re-sale condos sold in central Tokyo, and we consider this to be the key takeaway from the December REINS data.

Tokyo Condominium Market Forecast 2016

Real Estate Japan

This forecast from the Real Estate Economic Institute (REI, 不動産経済研究所) provides a good overview of the big trends to look for this year in the Tokyo condominium market.

Osaka Condominium Market Forecast 2016

Real Estate Japan

This is the Real Estate Economic Institute’s (REI, 不動産経済研究所) forecast for the condominium market in the Kinki region (Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Shiga, Mie, Nara and Wakayama prefectures).

Record Number of Skyscrapers Completed in 2015: Japan Not in Top 100

A record-breaking total of 106 skyscrapers over 200 meters (656 feet)were completed in 2015, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), breaking the previous record of 97 reached in 2014.

Despite fervent building activity in Japan in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, no 200+ meter buildings were completed in Japan in 2015, so Japan did not make last year’s 200+ meter Top 100 List.

The Most Expensive Apartment Sold in Tokyo in 2015

The most expensive condominium sold last year in Tokyo was the 203.96-sqm (2,195 sqft) penthouse in the “Park Court Akasaka Hinokicho The Tower” development, which sold for 1.5 billion yen ($12.7 million).

Mitsubishi Estate, Dentsu to open fintech center in central Tokyo

Nikkei Asian Review

TOKYO — Mitsubishi Estate and advertising agency Dentsu are teaming up to launch a co-working space for financial technology companies in the Otemachi-Marunouchi business district here.

Crash-Testing Abenomics

Seeking Alpha

A fundamental analysis of the Japanese economy from Wisdom Tree via the Seeking Alpha investment website: “We remain convinced that Japanese risk assets-equities and real estate-are on track for a multi-year bull market.”

Is Japan Using the Right Data?

Japan Times

Economic restructuring and renewal depends not only on effective policies, but also on the right data to forge those policies. A recent concern voiced not just by economists and investors but by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party itself has called into question some of the data on which the government bases its decisions.

Japan’s Deflated Generation

Straits Times

A very interesting piece about the generation of young Japanese people turning 20 this year who have only known an economy of falling prices. What damage have two decades of deflation, anaemic wage growth and lower job security done to their ambitions?

China’s Economic Woes What a Weak Yuan Means for Japan

Asian Nikkei Review

The yuan’s value against the yen has declined more than 3.4% since the beginning of this year. The sharp drop is something that “can no longer be ignored when considering corporate performance,” said Tohru Sasaki, head of Japan markets research at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.

Foreign Tourism Emerges as Bright Spot Amid Japan’s Dim Economic Prospects

The Japan Times

With few positive signs of recovery for Japan’s slumping economy, foreign tourism remains a sole ray of hope…

Japan’s Stocks Slide Close to Bear Market as Global Rout Deepens

Bloomberg

Japanese shares declined, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average briefly trading at bear-market levels before paring its drop, as the worst start to a year for Tokyo equities extended into a third week.

Kuroda Sees Moderate Recovery “Continuing”

 Yomiuri Shinbum

The Japanese economy continues to recover moderately, although exports and production have been affected by a slowdown in emerging economies, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Monday.

The economy “is expected to continue recovering moderately,” Kuroda said at a quarterly meeting of the central bank’s branch managers.

Japan Prepares for Pension Funds to Invest in Stocks

MorningStar

TOKYO—Japan’s government is preparing legislation that would allow its $1.1 trillion public pension reserve fund to directly buy and sell stocks, a plan that is sparking divisions over the state fund’s role in private markets.

Yakuza Boss Among 7 Nabbed for Disrupting Land Sale

The Tokyo Reporter

YAMAGUCHI – Police from Fukuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures have arrested the head of an organized crime group for disrupting the sale of a land parcel in Shimonoseki City.

Japan manufacturers’ mood down amid worry on China: Reuters Tankan

Reuters

Japanese manufacturers’ morale slipped in January and is expected to stay subdued over the coming three months, a Reuters poll found, in a sign that fears of a deepening China-led global slowdown and market turmoil are taking their toll on exporter confidence.

Real estate investment likely to see a boost in Asia Pacific region in 2016

Property Wire

Improving economic conditions in the Asia Pacific region and general growth across developed Asia is set to boost real estate investment, according to a new report.

The strongest rental growth prospects are expected in Australia and Japan this year, says the latest Asia Pacific outlook report from property fund manager M&G Real Estate.

Japan ‘Abenomics’ Minister Says Memory of Graft Claims ‘Fuzzy’

Bloomberg

Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari, a key architect of the government’s “Abenomics” policies, said his memory of a visit to his office by officials from a company alleged in a tabloid magazine article to have made illegal payments to him was “fuzzy.”

The article, published in the weekly Shukan Bunshun magazine Thursday, says that Amari and his secretary took money from an unidentified Chiba prefecture-based construction company in an alleged violation of a political funding law, according to a summary published on the magazine’s website. The payments amounted to 12 million yen ($103,000), the magazine said, adding that there are no details of them in Amari’s political funding record.

China’s 2015 growth slows to weakest for 25 years

Japan Today

China’s gross domestic product growth slowed to 6.9% in 2015, official data showed Tuesday, the weakest annual rate in a quarter of a century for the world’s second-largest economy, a mounting concern for global investors.

Euro Drops With Yen on Increasing Bets for Central Bank Stimulus

Bloomberg

The euro and yen were set for their biggest weekly drops this year as traders braced for more stimulus measures after a global market rout strengthened the currencies.

 

Photo Credit: Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons