Quick real estate news summary for the week

Hotels re-open to domestic tourists, a change to condo laws, and a long wait in store for buyers of apartments in the Athlete’s Village. Below is a quick weekly summary of some of the recent goings-on in the Japanese real estate market.

Hotels re-open

Mori Trust Hotels & Resorts has re-opened all 19 of their hotels and golf courses that had been closed since April 20. The company is expecting a smooth but slow revival of the domestic tourism market after the cancellation of the nationwide state of emergency on May 25, and the removal of a polite request to not travel across prefectures on June 19. Re-openings have included the Marriott hotels in Tokyo, Yamanakako, Karuizawa, Hakuba, Izu, Biwako, and Shirahama. Historic hotels such as Gora Kansuiro in Hakone, the Mampei Hotel in Karuizawa, and Seiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Kyoto have also re-opened this month.

Unizo sells off Tokyo real estate

Unizo Holdings and subsidiary Unizo Hotel sold several buildings in Tokyo this month to a domestic corporation for an undisclosed price. The sale included Hotel Unizo Shimbashi, Hotel Unizo Shibuya, Yanase Shibuya Building, and Unizo Yaesu Building. US-fund Lone Star bought out the company in April, ending a nine-month bidding war.

Revision to law to allow sale of poorly maintained condos

On June 16 a revision was passed to the Condominium Reconstruction Facilitation Act that now allows a condominium building and the land it sits on to be sold off if it is in a dangerous condition and as long as 4/5ths of owners agree. Up until now, this only applied to buildings built to the old earthquake code (generally speaking, pre-1981). For buildings built to the current codes, a 100% vote in favor is still required to sell the building and land, unless the building’s condition is deemed to pose a hazard to the neighborhood. There are currently 810,000 apartments in buildings over 40-years old across Japan. In 20 years’ time that number is expected to swell to 3.57 million apartments. 

Harumi Flag apartments delayed 12 months

Delivery of the 5,600 units in the Harumi Flag condo and rental apartment development in Tokyo Bay has been delayed by 12 months due to the 1-year postponement of the Summer Olympics. The apartments were designed to be used as the Athlete’s Village. After the games, the interiors will be refurbished. Delivery was originally scheduled for early 2023, but is now likely to take place in 2024. During pre-sales held last year, 940 apartments went under contract. Buyers who wish to back out due to the delayed handover may have their deposits returned.

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