Mori Trust has acquired a 335,000 sqm block of beachfront land with a half-finished hotel on Sesoko Island in Okinawa and plans to open an internationally-branded resort by 2020. Sesoko Beach Project, a limited liability company registered in Tokyo, was the seller.
Back in 2005, Toshi Design System, through a special purpose company, started construction on a large-scale luxury resort on the site of a former golf course. The 30 billion Yen hotel was to include 360 rooms each over 100 sqm (1,076 sq.ft) in size, with room rates of around 70,000 Yen per night. It was scheduled to open in 2009.
Several high-rise residential buildings in Okinawa have seen an increase in re-sale prices over the past few years.
One of the recent residential developments, called RYU:X TOWER, sold out prior to completion. The twin tower condominium contains 676 apartments over 30 floors. The first tower was completed in 2013, and apartments have already been selling on the re-sale market for 10 ~ 25% higher than their price when new. Apartments can currently be found on the resale market for between 670,000 ~ 1,125,000 Yen/sqm. The second tower was completed in May 2015 and has already sold out. The most expensive apartment was priced at around 130 million Yen (1.07 million USD). This has been the largest condominium development in Okinawa to date.
Urtore Mihama is a 19-storey resort condominium in Chatan, and just south of the Kadena Air Base. The 421-unit complex was completed in 2010 at a time when Japan’s economy and property market was in a slump. Sales were off to a bad start at first, but saw an unexpected turnaround after the 2011 Tohoku Disaster led to an influx of families looking to move as far away from the Fukushima nuclear plant as possible. All apartments were eventually sold.
Naha Tower, a local landmark and relic of the 1970s, has been purchased by a Kyushu-based hotel operator for an undisclosed price. The seller was Tokyo-based Intrance Co., Ltd.
In 2006, developer Zephyr Co., Ltd. acquired the building and renamed it ‘Zephyr Naha Tower’. They filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and the building’s tenants moved out one month later. The building has been empty ever since. Intrance acquired the building in 2011.
From July 2014, earthquake insurance premiums are set to rise by an average of 15.5% across Japan, with some areas seeing a price hike of as much as 30%.
The reason for the increase is due to expectations of another major earthquake that could affect the country in the future. Following the 2011 Tohoku disaster, insurers were left with nearly 1.2 trillion Yen in claims. This has severely drained the reserve fund.
Japan’s resort areas are seeing a dramatic polarization of their property markets. Some areas, such as Karuizawa and Okinawa are seeing prices rise, while other areas are seeing year-on-year falls. Why is this happening?
The effects of the battle of Okinawa in 1945 still remain today with countless tracts of land left vacant as ownership records were lost during air raids. Just over 805,000 sqm (199 acres) of land is missing records of ownership as houses were burned down along with the land registers and title documents.
In Teruya, Itoman City, in the southern end of Okinawa, sugarcane farming and residential houses are gradually increasing. However, a small 74 sqm block of land remains vacant as no one knows who the rightful owner is.
Three of Japan’s major developers, Daiwa, Orix and Daikyo, have announced the details of their latest high-rise condominium project in Naha City, Okinawa. Called “RYU:X TOWER”, the two 30 storey buildings will have 676 apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms, and priced from 28 to 69.2 million Yen.
The developers were selected by the city in 2006 to redevelop the site. The first stage of the redevelopment including building offices and hotel facilities. The second stage includes the two residential towers.
Japan’s Minister of Defense, Naoki Tanaka, is pressuring the government to introduce legislation that will restrict the purchase of land by foreign corporations and individuals in the Henoko area in Naga City, Okinawa. Henoko is home to Camp Schwab and is the proposed site of a new US Military air base, which will replace the Futenma Airfield in Naha.
Singaporean investment fund RECAP (Real Estate Capital Asia Partners) has purchased the CSK Tsubogawa Hotel in Naha City, Okinawa, for an undisclosed sum.
The business hotel was scheduled to open in 2009 but the former owner, CSK Holdings, fell into financial difficulties. Although construction was complete, the hotel never opened. The former owner also built an office building on the adjoining site in 2009, which also remains empty.