Construction to start on Shibuya Miyashitacho Project

Miyashitacho Project 1

Miyashitacho Realty, a corporation funded by Tokyu Corporation, Tokyu Construction, Taisei Corporation and Sapporo Real Estate, will officially begin construction on the Shibuya Miyashitacho Project on March 30.

The 5,000 sqm site is owned by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and forms part of their ‘Urban Regeneration Step Up Project’. It was originally the site of the the Miyashitacho Apartments. There were originally three apartment buildings, with demolition of the last building fronting Meiji Dori starting recently.Read more

Yokosuka City forcibly demolishes abandoned home

Yokosuka Higashiuraga 2Yokosuka City began the forced demolition of an abandoned home in Higashiuraga on March 13. This is the first forced demolition to be carried out in Kanagawa Prefecture and the third in Japan.

The wooden house, which was built sometime between the Taisho and early Showa periods, had a total floor area of 25 sqm. It was in a serious state of decay, with exterior cladding and doors coming loose in past typhoons. It became vacant after the owner passed away in 1988.

In 2012 the city received a complaint about the house and had repeatedly tried to contact relatives of the current owners, but with no success. The owners of the house did not own the land, and since the house did not appear on any cadastral maps, the heirs were not subject to annual property taxes.

The house was considered a hazard to the locals who often use the pathway running in front of the house as a shortcut to the station, and in December 2014 a removal order was issued. Read more

Construction starts on Shin-Hibiya Project

Shin Hibiya Project 1

Mitsui Fudosan started construction on the Shin-Hibiya Project on March 23. The 192m tall, 35-storey office tower is expected to be completed by the end of January 2018. London-based architectural firm Hopkins Architects are in charge of the master plan.

The project will help to enhance the area's image as centre for international business and the arts. The retail component will include Toho Cinemas, and will be the largest cinema complex in central Tokyo. This area has a long history as a theatre district. Toho, the producer of the Godzilla franchise, was founded nearby.Read more

Secondhand apartment prices continue to rise in February

Second-hand apartment prices in Tokyo continued to climb in February, with the latest data from Tokyo Kantei showing a 1.3% rise in apartment prices in the Tokyo metropolitan capital from the previous month.

Strong demand from both local and foreign buyers, and a growing number of renovated properties being flipped by real estate companies is thought to be behind the surge in the asking price of second-hand apartments.

The average asking price of a 70 sqm (753 sq ft) second-hand apartment in the metropolitan area was 40,040,000 Yen in February, up 1.3% from January and up 5.7% from February 2014. The average building age was 21.8 years.

This is the 8th month in a row to see a month-on-month increase in asking prices and is the first time that the average price has exceeded 40,000,000 Yen since September 2008.

In Tokyo’s 23 wards, the average asking price was 44,590,000 Yen, up 1.3% from the previous month and up 7.7% from last year. The average building age was 22.0 years. The price is now 5.7% below the peak of 47,280,000 Yen seen in February 2008.Read more

Japan's commercial land prices stop falling for first time in 7 years

Iwaki City Izumimoegidai
Izumimoegidai, Iwaki City.

On March 18, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) announced the 2015 Chika-koji land prices for Japan. The nationwide average for commercial land prices saw no change from last year, ending a seven year streak of declining prices and indicating a possible recovery.

Residential land prices dropped by 0.4%. This was the 7th year of consecutive decline, although the rate of decline has been shrinking.

In Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, 70% of the surveyed commercial land sites saw an increase in prices, while 70% of the locations in regional areas saw a decline.

The Izumimoegidai neighbourhood in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, saw the highest increase in land prices in Japan with an increase of 17.1% from last year. The top 10 residential land price increases were all in Iwaki City, which has been seeing an influx in demand from people who were displaced after the 2011 Tohoku disaster.Read more

Tokyo office vacancy rates reach 6 year low

According to Miki Shoji’s Office Report, the vacancy rate in Tokyo’s five central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) was 5.31% in February, down 0.05 points from January and down 1.70 points from last year. This is the lowest level seen since January 2009 and is the 20th month in a row to see an improvement in vacancy rates.

The vacancy rate in brand new office buildings was 29.31%, up 14.46 points from the previous month and up 9.66 points from last year. A large-scale office building was completed in February, which added to the supply for the month. Read more

Rubber recall may affect high-rise buildings with base-isolation systems

On March 13, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) announced that a rubber product manufactured by Toyo Tire & Rubber and used in the construction of base-isolated buildings does not meet national standards. Although the product was approved by the MLIT, the data was falsified by the product maker. The MLIT cancelled the certification on March 13.

Toyo president Takuji Yamanoto apologised at a press conference held on the same day. An apology was also posted on the company’s website.

The rubber has been used in 55 buildings across Japan, including apartment buildings, government buildings and hospitals. Five buildings are in Tokyo and six are in Kanagawa Prefecture. The MLIT has identified several of the affected buildings:Read more