New housing starts drop 4% in 2019

New housing starts across Japan in 2019 dropped 4.0% from the previous year to 905,123 units. This is the third year in a row to see a year-on-year decline. This was primarily due to a tightening on lending for investment-type apartment blocks after a widespread loan fraud scandal came to light in 2018. 

Rental housing, including ‘apaato’-type flats, dropped 13.7% to 342,289 units. Meanwhile, homes built for owner-occupiers increased by 1.9% to 288,738 units, and condominiums increased by 4.9% to 267,696 units. Condominium units over 170 sqm (1,829 sq.ft) represented 0.5% of the total supply nationwide, while units over 250 sqm (2,690 sq.ft) represented just 0.04% of the supply.

The average construction cost of a detached house nationwide was 23,270,000 Yen, while the average house size was 119 sqm (1,280 sq.ft). 90% of the homes were wood-frame, while 1% were reinforced concrete.

Source: The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, January 31, 2020.

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