Japan Housing Starts Summary for January 2018
Total housing starts dropped 13.2% to 66,358 units in January. In particular, non-wood construction fell significantly while wooden housing largely held its own. The mansion condominium starts fell 50.2%, dragging down the non-wood starts average. I would caution against reading too much into this one month decline: condo starts are notoriously volatile depending on the timing of when large projects start or stop. Wooden starts totaled 38,962 units, just 0.3% behind last year’s pace. Single family owner occupied housing increased 0.1% while rentals declined 10.8%.
By building method, wooden housing broke down as follows. Post and beam starts fell 0.9% to 29,459 units. Wooden pre-fab dropped 13.9% to 910 units and total pre-fab declined 7.0% to 10,600 units. Platform frame starts gained 3.4% to 8,593 units with the breakdown as follows: custom ordered single family homes increased 0.6% to 2,274 units, rental apartments rose 5.0% to 5,144 units and spec housing improved 3.6% to 1,170 units.