70% of real estate companies report impact from coronavirus fears

Earlier in March, real estate information provider Lifull conducted a survey of 925 real estate companies to see how the coronavirus situation was affecting them. Over 70% reported that their operations were already being impacted, while 91.9% were concerned about the future effects that this virus would have on their business activities.

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Business mood in real estate sector sees biggest drop since 2011 earthquake

The general business mood in March has worsened for the six month in a row according to credit research firm Teikoku Databank. The diffusion index (DI) of confidence from a survey of 11,330 companies across various industries dropped 6.2 points from February to 32.5. A month-on-month drop of this magnitude has not been seen since April 2014 which recorded a 4.2 point decline.

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New apartment supply in February hits 45-year low

The number of brand-new apartments released for sale across greater Tokyo reached the lowest level seen for the month of February since 1975. 

According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, February’s figures were not the direct result of the recent worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus. However, should economic conditions and consumer outlook worsen as a result of the unprecedented global slowdown, it is likely that Japan’s developers will continue to limit the supply of new apartments in the coming months.

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February apartment transactions reach 12-year high

According to REINS, 3,749 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across greater Tokyo in February, up 39.9% from the previous month and up 7.6% from last year. The average sale price was 35,730,000 Yen, up 2.7% from last year. The average price per square meter was 547,600 Yen, up 2.8% from last year. This is the 13th month in a row to see a year-on-year increase in sale prices. 

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Japan’s regional land prices increase for first time in 28-years

Nationwide land prices rose for the fifth year in a row this year, but hard-hitting effects of the novel coronavirus could put a swift end to Japan’s real estate recovery. 

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the nationwide ‘chika-koji’ assessed land price saw a 1.4% increase in 2020. This was a 0.2 point improvement from 2019’s 1.2% increase. 

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Why existing apartment sales are outperforming new construction

The old trope that Japanese buyers only buy new homes is being turned on its head as existing apartment sales now exceed new construction. In 2019, there were 38,109 reported sales of existing apartments across greater Tokyo (that figure is likely to be much higher due to a lack of public reporting of transactions). Over the same period, there were 31,238 brand new apartments offered for sale. 

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