Japan Housing Starts – July 2023

Shawn Lawlor

By: Shawn Lawlor

Managing Director, Canada Wood Japan/COFI Japan

July 2023 Japan Housing Starts

Challenging conditions prevailed in July for Japan’s housing market. In July total housing starts fell 6.7% to finish at 68,151 units. While single family owner-occupied housing fell 7.8%, rental housing increased 1.6%. After posting 3 months of gains, the mansion condominium market plunged 28%. Total wooden starts declined 3.9% to 40,136 units. Post and beam starts dropped 5.2% to 31,441 units. Wooden prefab starts fell 3.7% to 915 units and total prefab housing declined 4% to 9,719 units. Platform frame starts bucked the trend, edging up 1.8% to 7,780 units. Results of 2×4 starts by housing type were as follows: single family custom homes fell 3.3% to 2,564 units, rental housing advanced 8.0% to 4,443 units and built for sale spec housing declined 11.6% to 766 units.

July 2023 Non-Residential Construction

Market weakness was also evident in commercial and institutional construction. July total non-residential starts decreased 8.5% to 3,888 units and wooden non-residential starts fell 11% to 1,439 units. July wooden non-residential floor area declined 11.8% to 270,747m2. For the first seven months of 2023 total non-residential starts fell 3.3% by number of starts and 10.3% by floor area. Wooden non-residential fared better over the same time frame with starts dropping 2.6% and total wooden floor area flat year over year. By wood use, the leading building types were medical, elderly care and welfare, mixed residential-commercial, restaurants and accommodation and business services.