Rosenka land values increase for 4th year in a row

Kyoto’s Minami-za Kabuki Theatre

The rosenka land values for 2019 were announced by the National Tax Agency on July 1. Nationwide, land values increased by 1.3%. This is the fourth year in a row to record a year-on-year increase. The rate of growth has also expanded, following 0.7% in 2018, 0.4% in 2017 and 0.2% in 2016. This is the first time to see four years of consecutive growth since 1992.

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Residents in mountainous new-town growing increasingly cut-off

Back in February, Japan’s ABC TV ran a special program on problems facing one of the aging ‘new towns’ that were developed in far-flung, mountainous regions. These subdivisions were developed in the 1970s and 1980s, promoting an ideal lifestyle away from the hustle and grind of downtown Tokyo or Osaka. Decades later, the remaining residents are facing issues both with a declining and aging population, and a lack of access to basic amenities.

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Kyoto hotels outperform Osaka in 2018

In 2018, the Kansai area was struck by an earthquake in June and typhoon Jebi in September. Although the effects of these two events had very little impact on Kyoto’s tourism industry, they did affect Osaka which saw a drop in visitor arrivals from other Asian countries. STR’s Global Hotel Study for 2018 reported a 7.7% drop in the room revenue index for Osaka, while Kyoto saw a milder 0.2% decrease.

Given that these two cities are only 13 minutes apart by bullet train, why did Kyoto perform better than neighboring Osaka?

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New apartment price across Japan reaches record high in 2018

According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, a total of 80,256 brand-new apartments were released for sale across Japan in 2018, up 3.7% from 2017, and the first time since 2014 to see supply exceed 80,000 units. Greater Tokyo saw a 3.4% increase in supply, while the Kinki, Chubu and Tokai regions saw increases of over 7%. Another 80,000 new apartments are expected to be supplied for sale in 2019. This is still below the recent peak of 105,282 units supplied in 2013.

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Apartment rents in Tokyo increase by 5.3% in 2018

The average rent for an apartment in Tokyo’s 23 wards saw a 5.3% year-on-year increase in 2018 – the highest annual percentage increase in over 10 years. This was due in part to the fact that over 10% of the listings in the first half of the year were new construction. Newly built apartments tend to command higher rents than older ones, and can pull up the average. Average rents in Tokyo are now up 16% from their bottom in 2012.

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