Japan’s home builders boosted by coronavirus crisis, APA starts work on 8th hotel in Roppongi, and Hotel Okura closes its South Wing for good. Below is a quick weekly summary of some of the recent goings-on in the Japanese real estate market.

Japan’s home builders boosted by coronavirus 

The pandemic has done nothing to slow down home buyers, with record-low interest rates pushing detached home sales to unprecedented levels, at least in the greater Tokyo area. This is evident with the share prices of some of the country’s top home builders reaching 12-month highs. KI-STAR Real Estate, based in Saitama, saw its share price climb 180% from an April low. It is now 23% higher than its previous high in December 2019. The company primarily builds homes to sell in Saitama, Gunma, and suburban areas in the north Kanto area. Contracts with buyers during the April-June quarter were up 16% from 2019, despite the state of emergency. In August they were up 69%. Open House Co., Ltd. has been another success story, with house sales up 40% in May, and up 50% in June. Consolidated net profit is expected to jump 50% this year. The company’s share price is up 115% from its March low. Iida Group Holdings saw share prices drop 38% between February and March before rebounding 90% by September.

APA to build 8th hotel in Roppongi

APA Home and APA Mansion will be opening the 8th APA-branded hotel in the Roppongi district in late 2022. The developer acquired the site of the former Audi Roppongi store in 2017. The new 693-room hotel will be 18 floors and approximately 60 meters tall. The total building size is 12,000 sqm.

Hotel Okura Tokyo South Wing closes its doors for good

Hotel Okura closed their Tokyo South Wing hotel on September 30, ending 47-years of operations. The 13-story, 381-room annex hotel opened in 1973 to complement the nearby Hotel Okura Tokyo that was built in 1962. The main hotel building was demolished in 2015 and reopened late last year in a new glass high-rise. From October 1, 2020, the annex building will be leased to the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games until late September 2021. In the coming years, the building is rumored to be demolished and replaced with a high-rise tower, although the Nikkei Shimbun reported that Hotel Okura may be considering operating the existing building under a different hotel brand. An environmental assessment submitted to the Tokyo metropolitan government in early 2019 suggested plans for a 180-meter tall, 43-story apartment tower alongside a 115-meter tall, 21-story office tower with a proposed completion in the mid-2020s. The annex hotel has been closed since May due to the coronavirus pandemic.