New condo starts down 35% in February

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), housing starts across Japan in February were down 2.6% from the previous year to 70,912 units. This is the first time in 8 months to see a decrease from 12 months prior. Housing starts in the Tokyo metropolitan area were 12,370 units, down 4.9% from last year.

The total new floor area nationwide in February was 5,767,800 square meters, or an average of 81.33 sqm (875 sq ft) per residence. In Tokyo, the average size per residence was 65.48 sqm (705 sq ft).

Wood-frame construction accounted for 56% of the housing starts nationwide, 26% of housing was steel-reinforced concrete, and 18% was steel-frame.

New condo starts nationwide dropped by 35.7% to 7,562 units due to fewer large-scale projects. Of those, almost half were located in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Private owner-builder house starts increased by 1.6% to 21,322 homes.

Rental housing starts increased by 6.8% to 30,842 units. This was the 16th month in a row to see a year-on-year increase. In Tokyo, rental housing starts were up 7.9% to 6,031 units in February. Hyogo, Tokushima and Okayama Prefectures saw rental housing starts double from last year. Demand for building rental-use properties continues to rise due to potential inheritance tax offsets that apply to tenanted properties.

Source: MLIT, March 31, 2017.