Housing starts in Okinawa in 2019 are likely to see the first decline in five years. Total starts between January and November 2019 dropped 9.4% from the same period in 2018 to 13,854 units. The biggest drop was seen in rental housing.
According to Tokyo Shoko Research, the average construction cost in Okinawa Prefecture reached 224,800 Yen per square meter (approx. 193 USD/sq.ft) in 2018, up 0.6% from 2017 and the 8th year in a row to see an increase. Costs are approximately 36% higher than they were in 2010.
On June 26, Mori Trust started construction on a 300-room hotel on Okinawa’s Sesoko Island. The Okinawa Sesoko Project includes the main hotel, which will be operated by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, along with a time-share resort that will be sold to members in weekly units. The time-share resort will be operated by Hilton Grand Vacations.
Hotel and restaurant operator Unimat Precious is planning a 3,400-room resort for Miyako-jima Island in Okinawa. The project will be an extension to the resort they currently operate on Miyako-jima. When complete, it is said that this will become the largest hotel/resort in Japan.
Shigira Resort is currently comprised of four different hotels, villas and condominiums located on a 3.3 million sqm beachfront estate. In addition to the 585 rooms currently under operations, there is also a golf course and hot spring facilities.
Mori Trust has acquired a 335,000 sqm block of beachfront land with a half-finished hotel on Sesoko Island in Okinawa and plans to open an internationally-branded resort by 2020. Sesoko Beach Project, a limited liability company registered in Tokyo, was the seller.
Back in 2005, Toshi Design System, through a special purpose company, started construction on a large-scale luxury resort on the site of a former golf course. The 30 billion Yen hotel was to include 360 rooms each over 100 sqm (1,076 sq.ft) in size, with room rates of around 70,000 Yen per night. It was scheduled to open in 2009.
Several high-rise residential buildings in Okinawa have seen an increase in re-sale prices over the past few years.
One of the recent residential developments, called RYU:X TOWER, sold out prior to completion. The twin tower condominium contains 676 apartments over 30 floors. The first tower was completed in 2013, and apartments have already been selling on the re-sale market for 10 ~ 25% higher than their price when new. Apartments can currently be found on the resale market for between 670,000 ~ 1,125,000 Yen/sqm. The second tower was completed in May 2015 and has already sold out. The most expensive apartment was priced at around 130 million Yen (1.07 million USD). This has been the largest condominium development in Okinawa to date.
Urtore Mihama is a 19-storey resort condominium in Chatan, and just south of the Kadena Air Base. The 421-unit complex was completed in 2010 at a time when Japan’s economy and property market was in a slump. Sales were off to a bad start at first, but saw an unexpected turnaround after the 2011 Tohoku Disaster led to an influx of families looking to move as far away from the Fukushima nuclear plant as possible. All apartments were eventually sold.
Naha Tower, a local landmark and relic of the 1970s, has been purchased by a Kyushu-based hotel operator for an undisclosed price. The seller was Tokyo-based Intrance Co., Ltd.
In 2006, developer Zephyr Co., Ltd. acquired the building and renamed it ‘Zephyr Naha Tower’. They filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and the building’s tenants moved out one month later. The building has been empty ever since. Intrance acquired the building in 2011.
Okinawa is seeing high demand for new apartments, with real estate agents reporting properties being sold without any marketing and a severe shortage in stock levels.
All 338 apartment in Ryu:X West Tower in Omoromachi, Naha City, have sold out, and 90% of the apartments offered for sale in the East tower are already under contract. The two 30-storey towers contain 676 apartments. The West Tower was completed in September 2013 and the East Tower will be completed in 2015.