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Vacant home rate in central Tokyo at 2% or lower

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) released their 2018 White Paper on Land for the Greater Tokyo Area on June 8. This year’s report covered the growing problem of vacant homes.

The vacant home issue in Japan refers to unused, idle homes and land in Japan and it is important not to confuse it with rental vacancy rates.

Vacant homes across Greater Tokyo have increased by 43% over the 10 years to 2013, with Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Yamanashi prefectures seeing a 62% increase, and Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa seeing a 52% increase. Tokyo saw a 7% increase.

Rosenka land values increase nationwide for 3rd year in a row

Shijo Street in Kyoto. Rosenka land values along this section of the street increased by 25.9% in 2018.

This year, Japan’s nationwide rosenka land values increased for the third year in a row with an annual rate of growth of 0.7%. The rate of growth has increased from 2017 which saw 0.4% and 2016 with 0.2%.

The Tokyo metropolitan area saw a 4.0% increase, up from a 3.2% increase seen in 2017. Kyoto Prefecture saw a 2.2% increase and Osaka saw a 1.4% increase. A total of 18 prefectures saw an overall increase in land values in 2018, up from 13 prefectures in 2017. Total real estate transactions by listed companies in 2017 reached 5 trillion Yen (approx. 45 billion USD), up 20% from 2016 and the third highest annual volume in history.

Central Tokyo’s population growth a strain on local governments and schools

Central Tokyo’s population growth forecasts are causing local governments to take a closer look at development guidelines in order to alleviate strains on schools and childcare facilities.

Koto ward has been struggling with a shortage of schools for many years. In 2002 they introduced a 1.25 million Yen levy per apartment, payable by developers, on apartment buildings with over 30 apartments, with the funds going towards the expansion or construction of schools. In 2018, the developer of a 1,200-unit complex donated a school site to the ward in lieu of the 1.5 billion Yen levy.

Nevertheless, Koto is not able to keep up with the apartment construction boom and growing population.

Suginami to spend up to 1 billion Yen restoring historic home

Suginami Ward in Tokyo is budgeting up to 1 billion Yen for the restoration of the 91-year old Tekigaiso Villa. The traditional Japanese home was once the private residence of former Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoe. The property, which includes 6,000 sqm of land and gardens, was acquired by Suginami in February 2014 for 3.1 billion Yen (approx. 30 million USD at the time).