New apartment sales drop 82.2% in May

The number of new apartments released for sale across greater Tokyo in May dropped 82.2% from last year to just 393 units. This is the lowest volume since the Real Estate Economic Institute began reporting data in 1973. Showrooms remained closed for most of the month due to the nationwide state of emergency. The contract ratio was 72.3%, up 12.3 points from last year but down 6.6 points from April.

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Nationwide supply of new condos in 2019 hits 43-year low

The total number of brand-new condos supplied for sale across Japan in 2019 reached the lowest level since 1976. Supply dropped by 12.0% from the previous year to 70,660 units. The greater Tokyo region saw a 15.9% drop, while the Kinki region (which includes Osaka) saw a 13.9% drop. In 1994, annual supply peaked at 188,343 units.

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Rosenka land values increase for 4th year in a row

Kyoto’s Minami-za Kabuki Theatre

The rosenka land values for 2019 were announced by the National Tax Agency on July 1. Nationwide, land values increased by 1.3%. This is the fourth year in a row to record a year-on-year increase. The rate of growth has also expanded, following 0.7% in 2018, 0.4% in 2017 and 0.2% in 2016. This is the first time to see four years of consecutive growth since 1992.

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Residents in mountainous new-town growing increasingly cut-off

Back in February, Japan’s ABC TV ran a special program on problems facing one of the aging ‘new towns’ that were developed in far-flung, mountainous regions. These subdivisions were developed in the 1970s and 1980s, promoting an ideal lifestyle away from the hustle and grind of downtown Tokyo or Osaka. Decades later, the remaining residents are facing issues both with a declining and aging population, and a lack of access to basic amenities.

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Kyoto hotels outperform Osaka in 2018

In 2018, the Kansai area was struck by an earthquake in June and typhoon Jebi in September. Although the effects of these two events had very little impact on Kyoto’s tourism industry, they did affect Osaka which saw a drop in visitor arrivals from other Asian countries. STR’s Global Hotel Study for 2018 reported a 7.7% drop in the room revenue index for Osaka, while Kyoto saw a milder 0.2% decrease. 

Given that these two cities are only 13 minutes apart by bullet train, why did Kyoto perform better than neighboring Osaka?

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