Muji enters house flipping business

Muji House, part of the household accessory brand Muji, has entered the renovate-to-resell market in Japan. They are planning to flip around 100 apartments annually, focused in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama. Their first two “Muji Infill 0” projects are in Fuchi City and Yokohama City. The property search, planning and renovation took the company three years.

The Kurumagaeshi Danchi public housing block in Fuchu City was built in 1975. The 48.99 sqm (527 sq.ft) one-bedroom apartment has already sold. It was on the 5th floor of the 5-story apartment block with no elevator.

They are already preparing a second renovation project in the same danchi, also sized at 48.99 sqm and to be priced at 21 million Yen (approx. US$190,000). Similarly-sized apartments without the Muji-brand renovation may be priced around 10 ~ 18 million Yen depending on floor and interior condition.

The Konandai Mejiro Danchi public housing block is located approximately halfway between Yokohama and Kamakura. It is a development of 44 five-story buildings with a total of 1,390 apartments over a 12.7-hectare site. The two and three-bedroom apartments are sized around 48 ~ 51 sqm (516 ~ 549 sq.ft), and priced from 9 ~ 15 million Yen depending on floor and interior condition. No elevators can mean that floors on the higher floors may be priced lower than those on lower floors.

Muji House’s renovated one-bedroom unit is on the 5th floor with a total floor area of 51.18 sqm (51 sq.ft). It is priced at 19.9 million Yen (approx. US$180,000) – about double the price of a similarly-sized apartment with original 1970s interior. The target buyer is a couple in their 20s or 30s or a family of three. 

Muji House already collaborates with the Urban Renaissance Agency to renovate rental-only public housing apartments. This time the brand’s reach will extend to sales of apartments renovated by the company in-house. The reach will extend to normal, non-public housing apartments as well.

Where possible, renovations will involve stripping the apartments back to their bare concrete shell and installing insulation (top floor units will also be given ceiling insulation), adding second interior windows to provide double-glazing (since most buildings do not allow exterior windows to be replaced), original kitchens, and Muji original flooring. 

Sources:
Impress Watch, July 16, 2021.
Business Insider Japan, July 19, 2021.

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