As at the end of August 2018, Kyoto City had only received 129 applications for short-term letting under the new minpaku laws that were introduced in June. Of those, 33 are located in exclusive residential zones where properties can only be rented out to guests for a maximum of 60 nights between January 15 and March 15, with some exceptions allowed for traditional machiya townhouses and homes where the host also lives on the premises. This pales in comparison to the total number of 7,028 applications made nationwide. In Kyoto Prefecture, excluding Kyoto City, only 18 applications have been received as at September 14.
According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, a total of 3,372 brand new apartments were released for sale across greater Tokyo in September, up 124.5% from the previous month and up 13.2% from last year. This is the first year-on-year increase since June. Several large-scale projects in Tokyo and Chiba contributed to the supply. Also, September is typically busier than August due to the start of the Autumn sales period.
The average apartment rent in Tokyo’s 23 wards has increased year-on-year for the 10th month in a row. The average monthly rent in September was 3,504 Yen/sqm, up 6.6% from last year and up 1.2% from the previous month. Both Yokohama and Saitama cities saw a decline in year-on-year rents.
The September 2018 Hokkaido Iburi Earthquake resulted in severe liquefaction in part of Sapporo’s Kiyota Ward, leaving roads caved in and homes leaning at dangerous angles.As at October 3, as many as 1,452 homes had suffered damage in Kiyota Ward. This wasn’t the first instance for the neighborhood with liquefaction observed during the 2003 Hokkaido Earthquake which had an epicenter 300 kilometers away. The liquefaction hazard map issued by the city had previously designated this area as being of high risk for liquefaction damage.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the total floor space of buildings across Japan totaled 7.73 billion square meters (approx. 83 billion sq.ft) as at January 1, 2018, a 0.2% increase from last year. Housing stock, including both private and public housing, saw a 0.2% rise and accounted for 74.3% of the total.
The fraudulent investment scandal, propelled by Suruga Bank, is having far reaching consequences for the investment property market with investors, even legitimate ones, finding it increasingly difficult to obtain financing. Since the start of the year, the price of investment properties has fallen. Meanwhile, outstanding loans to private investors has reached 23 trillion Yen (approx. 202 billion USD).
Kyoto City’s most expensive apartment building since 1995 is already close to selling out prior to the start of official sales. 90% of the apartments in The Kyoto Residence Gosho-Higashi have already been pre-sold to buyers, with the remaining 4 units offered in the first round of public sales held on October 13th.
According to REINS, 3,244 second-hand apartments were sold across greater Tokyo in September, up 40.9% from the previous month and up 0.7% from last year. The average sale price was 32,920,000 Yen, down 0.8% from the previous month but up 2.0% from last year. The average price per square meter was 513,900 Yen, down 1.4% from the previous month but up 1.4% from last year. This is the 69th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in prices.
On October 1, real estate corporation HULIC opened their latest small luxury resort near Lake Kawaguchi. ‘Fufu Kawaguchiko’ is part of HULIC’s Fufu brand of luxury ryokans.
Niigata City is losing major retail players due to a declining population and a shift in consumer habits towards online shopping and larger suburban malls. On September 26, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings announced the planned closure of their Mitsukoshi Department Store in the city by March 2020. The closure is expected to worsen the decline in the city center’s retail district.