Okinawa’s construction costs increase for 8th year in a row

According to Tokyo Shoko Research, the average construction cost in Okinawa Prefecture reached 224,800 Yen per square meter (approx. 193 USD/sq.ft) in 2018, up 0.6% from 2017 and the 8th year in a row to see an increase. Costs are approximately 36% higher than they were in 2010. 

For residential buildings the average cost was 204,100 Yen/sqm (approx. 175 USD/sq.ft), up 4.6% from 2017. This is the 6th year in a row to see an increase and the first time that prices have exceeded 200,000 Yen/sqm. Commercial building costs were 247,000 Yen/sqm (approx. 212 USD/sq.ft), down 3.0% from the previous year and ending 6 years of consecutive increases. 

A total of 5,547 buildings were constructed in 2018, up 3.3% from the previous year and the 5th highest level seen over the past 9 years. High construction costs have resulted in a reduction in the supply of new residential and commercial buildings. Residential supply dropped by 1.6% to 4,113 buildings. Of those, 1,249 buildings were wood-frame, up 22.2% from 2017. Amidst rising prices, wooden construction is a cheaper alternative. 

Commercial buildings dropped by 8.4% to 1,216 units in 2018. This is the second year in a row to see a drop in supply. Hotel and restaurant-type buildings dropped by 1.6% to 371 buildings. 

In Miyakojima Island, a hotel construction boom has pushed up prices dramatically. The average construction cost in Miyakojima is around 319,500 Yen/sqm, 42% higher than the average for Okinawa prefecture and 64% higher than the average in 2011.

Source: The Ryukyu Shimpo, July 24, 2019.

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