Japan Housing Starts Summary for January 2019
January housing starts peaked out a 1.1% increase to finish at 67,087 units, but for wooden construction cheery news was in short supply. Owner occupied housing increased 3.3% for the 4th consecutive monthly gain, but rental housing dropped 12.3%. Wooden housing finished down 2.2% to 38,121 units. But by housing type there were clear winners and losers. Post and beam starts largely held their own, declining 0.5% to 29,308 units. Wooden pre-fab rose for a 4.5% to 951 units; albeit compared to a poor showing the year prior. Overall prefab fell 10.6% to 9,480 units. Platform frame starts tanked; falling 8.5% to 7,862 units. By housing type, the results for 2×4 housing were as follows: owner occupied custom homes increased 7.6% to 2,447 units; rental apartments fell a staggering 17.4% to 4,251 units and built for sale spec housing declined 2.2% to 1,144 units.