Single-family housing in Japan is an individual free-standing house or residence designed for a single family. These types of houses do not include bungalows, cabins, detached and semi-detached houses, terraced houses and townhouses. It was observed that there were some fluctuations in the Japanese single-family housing construction market in the yesteryears. The construction companies in Japan do not struggle on price and compel consumers to accumulate sufficient savings before they can afford a single-family home. Japan’s residential market possesses established standard designs, construction methods and materials that would give the residential construction industry the encouragement required to become more productive.
The productivity gaps across all construction segments in Japan are due to the lack of large-scale developments, lack of standard designs, methods, and materials. The lower productivity in single-family housing is observed due to poor organization in the traditional segment, and inefficient sales techniques. Japan’s residential construction industry is very static with a reasonable profit and wages are relatively high.
Few new, productive, successful foreign or domestic competitors are the leading players in the single-family housing construction market in Japan. The major factors affecting the growth of single-family housing construction market in Japan are the lack of public transaction information, the government home loan lending policies, tax system, and zoning codes.
According to the report, “Single-Family Housing (Construction) in Japan: Market Analytics by Category & Cost Type to 2021”, Japanese multiple-unit residences are categorised as apartments and mansions. Almost all the houses or residences in Japan include modern and traditional styles. With growing modern lifestyle in Japan, there are two patterns of residences such as the single family detached house and multiple-unit buildings owned by an individual or corporation. These residences are rented as apartments to tenants, or owned by occupants. Other types of houses for unmarried people are boarding houses for college students, dormitories for companies, and barracks for self-defence forces, police and other public employees.
In traditional Japanese houses, the size of a room can be changed by altering the partitioning which is made up of sliding doors made from wood and paper. Japanese traditional houses roofs are made of wood and clay, with tiles or thatched areas on top. The main feature of a Japanese home is the entryway which incorporates a small area to remove shoes. People step onto a raised floor after they remove their shoes and the tips of their shoes point towards the outside. The entire residence is at a raised level of this floor. Adjacent to the lower floor is a shelf to store shoes and indoor slipper are also place in this shelf. One traditional Japanese styled room is included in the residence which might be unfurnished, and is used as a family room during the day and a bedroom at night.
The tax for house is usually controlled by its building material. The odd feature of Japanese houses is they have a limited lifespan, and are generally reconstructed after a few decades. The lifespan of the wooden buildings are twenty years and concrete buildings are thirty years. Replacing the entire residential stock within a generation meant generating a lot of construction waste.
Due to high cost of housing in major Japanese cities, many individuals rent an apartment rather than owning a home. Japanese disposable home is worth nothing after fifteen years of construction, and possess environmental and financial problems. The construction market in Japan is at a booming stage but residential construction market barely experiences a growth.
The Japanese government updates all the residential building code every 10 years due to the earthquake risk. Few homes built according to green building standards in Japan depreciate more slowly than regular ones. The renovation companies in Japan identified the green building standards market and are promoting longer-lasting homes for the sake of the environment.
Majority of the single-family homes are available in the densely populated Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama. It was observed that Japan’s economic condition is continuing a positive growth along with the increasing demand for exported goods. Also, a positive growth was observed in the Japanese single family housing market and in the construction material. Bank’s low lending rates and consumption tax hike propelled Japan’s housing market to witness a strong growth from the year 2013. In the yesteryears, the rental houses have consistently outperformed the single family housing because the rental units comprise of just half the floor area of a single-family owner occupied unit.
The Japanese population decline really emphasizes the seriousness of the crisis in all sectors. This situation in the country demographics challenges the impact of economy, politics, and Japanese society as a whole. The population decline in Japan has promised more problems such as less consumer spending, greater pressure on gross domestic products (GDP), wages, falling land prices and exchange rate.
With declining population in Japan, it is observed that there is an increase in number of abandoned houses and younger generation is moving to big cities. The country’s capital Tokyo, is also witnessing a rise in the abandoned homes and less people owning a home. The five year population data of Japan is depicted in the below graph.
With the decline in the population, the construction market in Japan has started to decline and will reflect these changes in the coming years. The government of Japan has implemented many measures to tackle this crisis related to population and construction sector. These changes are therefore sure to be reflected in the coming years with much more improved single family residential and green building standards.
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