International travel bans and a state of emergency have seen the highly tourist-reliant ski towns in Niseko and surrounding towns suffer from a steep fall in employment and a sharp uptick in vacant apartments.
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A severe downturn in the retail, food, and beverage industry has led many struggling tenants to reach out to their landlords to request rent discounts. Although there are no government directives protecting tenants at this time, landlords are being encouraged to cooperate with tenant requests where possible. But, not all landlords are in a position to do so, with rental income often going towards loan repayments and property holding costs. Recently, some local cities have started offering financial support to those landlords.
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The average monthly rent of a condo-style apartment in Tokyo’s 23 wards saw a slight month-on-month increase of 0.2% in April. The average rent has risen 5.8% from April 2019 to 3,855 Yen per square meter. Rents are now up approximately 29.4% from the bottom seen in late 2012.
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On April 22, Daiwa House announced that they will be offering a three month rental-deferment plan to approximately 500,000 of their residential tenants. The company understands that tenants may be struggling with finances due to the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic and is offering this without the need for tenants to prove any proof of loss in income.
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Short-term ‘minpaku’ accommodation hosts are starting to exit the short-term letting market. As of April 2020, the number of hosts that de-registered their properties topped 4,100 since the registration system was introduced in mid-2018. There are currently 25,000 registered minpaku properties across Japan.
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The number of residential rental contracts signed across greater Tokyo has been on the decline for over a year now, with the effects being felt on real estate brokerages. Teikoku Databank reported 104 real estate brokerages filed for bankruptcy across greater Tokyo in 2019, up 6% from 2018.
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Real estate developer Rebita has acquired a partial ownership interest in luxury rental complex Grosvenor Place Kamizono-cho.
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The average monthly rent for a condominium-type apartment across greater Tokyo in 2019 was 2,886 Yen/sqm, up 4.5% from 2018. This was primarily due to an increase in rents within the Tokyo metropolitan area, while Yokohama City saw rents fall.
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Ushiku City in Ibaraki has agreed to lease a historic winery for 4,620,000 Yen (approx. 42,000 USD) per month. Ushiku Chateau (formerly Chateau Kamiya) was opened in 1903 by Denbe Kamiya (1856-1922) and was Japan’s first winery. In more recent years the winery was receiving as many as 400,000 visitors a year when it was open to the public. It closed last year, prompting locals to lobby the city to find a public use for the property.
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The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) is building student accommodation under the train tracks in Koganei, West Tokyo. The apartments will be located on a 400-meter stretch located right underneath the Chuo East Line between Musashi-Koganei and Higashi-Koganei Stations.
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