Japan Housing & Non-Residential Starts Report for April 2019
April total housing starts fell 5.7% to 79,389 units. Owner occupied, single-family housing remained strong, rising 9.2%. Rental housing continued to lag, falling 16.7% for the 8th consecutive month. Wooden housing essentially held flat at 45,179 units. Post and Beam starts delivered a solid performance, rising 2.8% to 35,092 units. Wooden pre-fab jumped 19.7% to 1,076 units. It is important to note that the results from last year were particularly low. Due to ongoing weakness in multi-family rentals, platform frame starts dropped 11.6% to 9,011 units. By housing type, the breakdown in platform starts is as follows: custom ordered homes increased 5.6% to 2,730 units, rentals declined 20.6% to 4,940 units and built for sale spec homes fell 2.3% to 1,297 units.
In April, wooden non-residential starts totalled 1,600 buildings for a floor area of 307,676m2. Estimated wood use for the month was approximately 54,000m3. By the number of overall buildings, wood held a share of 36% and by floor area wood accounted for 9.2% of construction. The top wood end uses were for elderly, medical and welfare facilities, mixed-use commercial/residential and agricultural buildings.