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Japan Housing Starts & Non Residential Construction Summary May 2020

Shawn Lawlor

By Shawn Lawlor

Managing Director, Canada Wood Japan

July 28, 2020

May total housing starts continued to trail year prior results, falling 12.3% to finish at 63,683 units. Owner occupied housing declined 20.7% and rental housing fell 8.1%.  Wooden housing fell 15.6% to 35,632 units. Post and beam starts fell 15.5% to 27,914 units. Wooden prefab fell 4.5% to 940 units. Platform frame starts posted a 17.5% decline to 6,778 units. By housing type, the breakdown in platform starts is as follows: custom ordered homes dropped 26.8% to 1,977 units, rentals declined 8.5% to 3,975 units and built for sale spec homes decreased 30.6% to 805 units.


May wooden non-residential starts totaled 1,287 buildings for a floor area of 249,167m2. Year over year May non-residential wooden floor area declined 10.2%. Non-residential wood use for the month is estimated roughly at 43,604m3. Wood held a market share of 37% by number of buildings and 7.4% by floor area for the month. By usage elderly, medical care and social welfare facilities topped the list, followed by mixed residential-commercial and agricultural buildings.