Japan Housing & Non-Residential Starts Report for May 2019
Due in part to an unusually long Golden Week Holiday this year to market the commencement of the Reiwa imperial era, May total housing starts slumped 8.7% to 72,581 units. Rental housing continued to trail year prior results, falling 15.8%. Owner occupied, single family housing registered positive gains, rising 6.5%. While May marks the 8th consecutive monthly increase for owner-occupied housing, it is also the 9th consecutive monthly decline for rental housing.
Wooden housing fell 2.7% to 42,218 units. But given the relative strength in owner occupied homes, total floor area for wooden homes increased 2.1% to 4.21 million m2. Post and beam starts fell 3.1% to 33,020 units. Wooden pre-fab increased 14.8% to 984. Platform frame starts declined 3.0% to 8,214 units. By housing type, the breakdown in platform starts is as follows: custom ordered homes increased 5.3% to 2,699 units, rentals declined 5.9% to 4,342 units and built for sale spec homes fell 8.2% to 1,160 units.
May wooden non-residential starts totaled 1,524 buildings for a floor area of 277,564m2. Estimated wood use for the month was approximately 48,574m3. By number of overall buildings wood held a share of 36% and by floor area wood accounted for 8.6% of construction. The top wood end uses were elderly, medical and welfare facilities, mixed-use commercial/residential, restaurants & accommodation and business services.