Former apartment building in Omotesando to be redeveloped into retail

The vintage Minami Aoyama 571 apartment building in Omotesando has been demolished to make way for a retail store. The former building was privately developed in 1988 with 4 apartments over 4 floors. Back in early 2015 a full floor apartment was listed for sale for approximately 270 million Yen – a relative steal since it included a 130 sqm share of the land. Unfortunately several of our clients passed on this opportunity.

What happens to your home loan if your house is destroyed in a natural disaster?

Generally speaking, if your house is destroyed in a disaster you are still on the hook to make your monthly mortgage repayments. However, this year many of Japan’s major banks have started to offer their new borrowers with some respite from their loan payments in the event of a disaster such as an earthquake, typhoon or flooding.

6 ~ 24 months delayed or exempted loan repayments

New minpaku laws decidedly unpopular in Kyoto City

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.

New apartment supply in Tokyo increases in September

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.

Liquefaction in Sapporo caused by poor soil conditions

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.

Lending tightens for investment properties

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).