Resort condominiums seeing renewed demand but prices remain down

Biwako Urban Resort

Resort condominiums built during the peak of Japan’s bubble economy in the late 1980s are finally starting to see renewed demand. This time around the buyers are not investors, but are people looking for a permanent residence in which to spend their retirement years.

Alongside Lake Biwa’s shoreline stands the Biwako Urban Resort. The resort condominium was built between 1989 and 1991 and contains 770 units in three 15-storey towers. When it was first built, Moriyama City guidelines prohibited the units to be used for personal residences. Owners could only use them as holiday villas. Because of the ‘resort condo’ designation, the developer received several allowances including only requiring car parking for up to 50% of the apartments. The non-residence rules were also written into the building’s management bylaws, although demand from some residents has seen this clause removed from one of the three towers.

The number of residents who call this building their permanent home now numbers over 300.

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Osaka Waterworks land near Lake Biwa drops to just 2% of original value

Lake Biwa landAccording a recent valuation, forestry on the western side of Lake Biwa purchased by the Osaka Waterworks Bureau in 1988 for 917 million Yen has dropped in value by almost 98% to just 22 million Yen.

To date, the Bureau has spent 18 million Yen managing the land.

Starting this year, regional public enterprises will switch over to private corporate accounting systems which require the reporting of asset values and losses.

In 1985, the Bureau had made 1 billion Yen on the sale of land and were looking to acquire additional land as a way of storing the money. After considering several offerings from real estate agents, they settled on the land near Lake Biwa. The supervisor at the time said they believed the purchase could provide some positive PR since the land was a natural water source and acquiring the land meant they could protect the water quality. Despite the publicity efforts, the Bureau actually had no specific plans for the land.

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