The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company has recently started investing in small-to-medium sized rental apartment buildings. According to Dai-ichi, insurance premiums collected from consumers are invested in government bonds, shares and acquiring office buildings.
Following the Lehman Shock, office rents dropped by a large degree, but the drop in residential rent was relatively smaller. Dai-ichi hope to achieve some stability by adding residential properties to their portfolio. They are targeting studio ~ 2-bedroom rental buildings as they are anticipating strong demand from singles and couples.
In late 2012, Dai-ichi purchase three residential buildings and one small-sized office building for a total of 7 billion Yen. They plan to invest a total of 10 billion Yen (approximately 113 million USD) per year.
Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun, January 6, 2013.