Infographic: Popularity of 2×4 Housing Increasing in Japan

Shawn Lawlor

By: Shawn Lawlor

Managing Director, Canada Wood Japan/COFI Japan

According to a Japanese Government Cabinet Office survey conducted in October 2019, the popularity of 2×4 housing continues to gain traction among younger generations in Japan. The survey first reconfirms that the popularity of wooden housing remains strong, with approximately ¾ of survey respondents preferring to live in wooden housing, with the balance preferring non-wood alternatives. When asked which type of home they would like to purchase in the future, an average of 47.6% selected traditional Japanese style post and beam housing, 26% chosen 2×4 and 23.7% selected non-wood.

Interestingly, this Cabinet Office survey a rising preference for 2×4 versus post and beam housing over time. Preference for post and beam housing fell from 72.5% in 1989 to the 60% range in 1996, to the 50% range in 2011, to 47.6% today. Conversely, the preference for 2×4 homes increased from 9.4% in 1989 to its current 26%. Breaking the results down demographically, the popularity of 2×4 housing is strongest among younger generations. Two by four housing is the preferred choice among 37.8% of the 18-29 year-old segment; 34.2% among 30 to 39 segment; 33.9% among 40 to 49; 38.2% among 50 to 59; 25% among 60-69; and 9.5% among 70 years plus. Favorable perceptions of fire and seismic resistive performance of 2×4 housing are cited as reasons supporting these shifting preferences.