Okinawa’s housing starts drop for first time in 5 years

Housing starts in Okinawa in 2019 are likely to see the first decline in five years. Total starts between January and November 2019 dropped 9.4% from the same period in 2018 to 13,854 units. The biggest drop was seen in rental housing.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), total rental housing starts as of the end of November were down 18.6% from the same period in 2018. Rental housing comprised two-thirds of total housing starts in 2019.

Rising construction costs have contributed to lower expected rental returns, while the Suruga Bank investment loan scandal has caused many banks to tighten lending on investment properties.

Owner-occupier housing starts had increased by 10.5% to 2,691 units, while condo-style apartments increased by 17.2% to 2,602 units.

Source: The Ryukyu Shimpo, December 31, 2019.

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