Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Housing and Non-residential Starts Update-September & October

Shawn Lawlor

By Shawn Lawlor

Managing Director, Canada Wood Japan

December 27, 2019

Japan Housing Starts Summary for September 2019


September total housing starts fell 4.9% to finish at 77,915 units. Owner occupied housing declined 3.5% compared to a 16.8% fall in rental housing. The condominium (mansion) market bucked the trend with a 34.6% increase. Wooden starts finished at 44,300 units, declining 8.2%. All building methods were down substantially. Post and beam starts dipped 8.7% to 33,500 units. Wooden pre-fab fell 4.8% to 1,049 units. Overall prefab dropped 5.8% to 10,914 units. Platform frame starts fell 6.9% to 9,881 units. By housing type, the results for 2×4 housing were as follows: owner occupied custom homes fell 3.6% to 2,694 units; rental apartments fell 8.2% to 5,971 units and built for sale spec housing dropped 5.9% to 1,210 units.


Japan Housing Starts Summary for October 2019


Total housing starts continued their fourth consecutive monthly decline, falling 7.4% to 77,123 units. Owner occupied housing dropped 5.6% gain whereas rentals fell 16.5%. The one bright spot was the non-wood mansion condominium market which posted a 16.8% gain. Wooden starts fell 9.0% to 45,717 units. Post and beam dropped 7.5% to 34,789 units. Wooden pre-fab fell 17.6% to 1,051 units. Platform frame construction registered a 12.7% decrease to 9,877 units. By 2×4 housing type, owner occupied custom homes fell 7.7% to 2,800 units; rental apartments dropped 14.2% to 5,986 units and built for sale spec housing plunged 17.7% to 1,068 units.


October 2019 Year to Date Non-Residential Construction


Between January to October, total non-residential building starts declined by 1.6% to 45,077 units and by 1.5% in total floor area to 32,658,085m2. The good news is that despite the reduction in overall non-residential construction, wood market share increased. Wooden non-residential building starts increased 0.9% to 16,048 units and total wooden floor area grew 2.4% to 3,174,798m2. Total estimated non-residential wood consumption increased by an estimated 13,274m3 to 555,590m3.