Home builder introduces 9-storey home to their line-up

In an industry first, PanaHome is now offering a 9-storey home for landowners who want to maximize the use of their land.

The suggested layout for the ‘Vieuno9’ high-rise home includes retail space on the ground floor, office and rental apartments on the lower floors, and the owner’s residence on the upper floors. The steel-frame structure allows for ceiling heights of up to 4 meters on the ground floor and 3.14 meters on the top floor, with mid-floors having generous ceiling heights of 2.84 meters.

In 2016, housing starts for multi-storey dwellings (between 3 ~ 9 floors) reached 43,530 units nationwide, an increase of 7.8% from 2015. 82.5% of these homes were located in the Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka belt where land prices are typically high while lot sizes are small. The Tokyo metropolitan area accounted for 30.6% of these housing starts.

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Daiwa House unveils high-end custom-built homes

On April 12 Daiwa House announced details on their newest and highest grade of custom-built homes aimed towards wealthy buyers. The ‘PREMIUM Gran Wood’ homes are wood-framed houses with construction costs starting from 300,000 Yen per square meter (255 USD / sq ft), not including land purchase costs. With additional options and finishes, construction costs can exceed 600,000 Yen/sqm. The average house is expected to cost a minimum of 50 million Yen (approx. 460,000 USD) to build.

Daiwa is expecting to build 50 of these houses in their first year of sales.

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Sumitomo Forestry announces new luxury home plans

Sumitomo Forestry Luxury Home 1

Sumitomo Forestry announced a new luxury home design and construction service aimed at wealthy clients who are seeking meticulously designed and well-appointed residences.

A model house in the Komazawa Koen Housing Gallery in Setagaya-ku is scheduled to open on October 17, while pre-inspections are currently available by appointment only. Another model house will open in Nagoya City. Both homes were designed by Design Partner Group.

The Komazawa model house was designed to reflect contemporary and traditional Japanese styles in an urban setting. All rooms open onto a central courtyard which provides light, air flow and a spot for greenery. Interior designer Yukio Hashimoto was in charge of the interiors, with special touches including traditional Japanese plaster, lacquering, gold and silver leaf and shoji sliding doors. 

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4-storey homes growing in popularity

Japan 4 5 storey homes

Demand is finally starting to grow for 4-storey wooden-frame homes as future revisions to the inheritance tax laws in Japan leave the older generation searching for better ways to pass their wealth onto their children.

From January 1 2015, the basic deduction on inheritance tax for one heir will be reduced from 60 million Yen to 36 million Yen. This will increase the number of people who will become liable to pay inheritance tax. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in Tokyo’s 23-ku will have to pay the tax at some point.

However, for multi-family homes where several generations live under one roof, up to 80% of the property’s taxable value can be reduced. Building a multi-family home can therefore provide some offset for future inheritance taxes.

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Avoiding consumption tax increase too late for some

It may already be too late for some buyers looking to build their own home before the planned consumption tax increase next year. A last minute rush by buyers nationwide and a shortage in land and building materials means that some buyers will miss out on the current 5% tax rate.

A clause in construction contracts states that ‘if the contract was signed at least 6 months prior to an increase in consumption tax, the tax rate applied at the time of hand-over will be the rate in effect at the time the contract was signed‘. This means buyers must have their construction contracts signed before the end of September 2013 in order to lock-in the 5% consumption tax rate, otherwise they may be subject to the 8% rate which is scheduled to kick in on April 1, 2014.

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Muji Model House opened in Saitama

Japanese household and consumer retail giant, MUJI, has designed a model house in conjunction with home-builder Okawa. The display home was opened on April 1 in Urawa-ku, Saitama City.

The house was designed to be long-lasting and flexible, so that it can be easily changed to adapt to changes in family structure and lifestyle. By 2015, both companies are expecting to be able to supply 500 MUJI-style homes annually.

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Building Regulations in Japan

The following is a brief guide to some of the building regulations you will encounter when building a house in Japan.


This is the building volume-to-land ratio and defines the maximum total floorspace allowed on a block of land. The ratio is expressed as a percentage, eg. 200%. In built-up areas in central Tokyo the Yosekiritsu is high, whereas in suburban and rural areas, the Yosekiritsu will be much smaller. The highest ratio in Tokyo is 1300% which applies to commercial land in the Yurakucho / Marunouchi area around Tokyo Station. Even still, there are buildings that exceed this ratio because they have borrowed air rights from neighboring blocks.

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