November 2023 Japan Housing and Non-Resi Construction Starts

Shawn Lawlor

By: Shawn Lawlor

Managing Director, Canada Wood Japan/COFI Japan

November 2023 Japan Housing Starts

Total Japanese housing starts fell 8.5% in November to finish at 66,238 units and marking the sixth consecutive monthly decline. Owner occupied starts were particularly sluggish, falling 17.3%. Rental housing trailed year prior levels by 5.3%. Total wooden starts declined 7.2% to 38,755 units. Post and beam starts dropped 8.0% to 29,941 units. In the past several months wooden prefab and total prefab showed particular weakness. Wooden prefab fell 22% in November to 742 units. Total prefab fell 20% for the month after a 24% decline in October.

While 2×4 starts were down as well, compared to other construction methods platform frame starts were relatively stable. November 2×4 starts fell 2.1% to 8,021 units. Thanks to a relative weighting and resilience of multi-family starts, in recent months platform frame construction has regained some market share and have surpassed total prefab starts as a building method for the first time starting in October. November results of 2×4 starts by housing type were as follows: single family custom homes fell 7.7% to 2,366 units, rental housing increased 2.2% to 4,872 units and built for sale spec housing declined 6.4% to 829 units.

November 2023 Non-Residential Construction

November total non-residential starts decreased 7.6% to 3,783 units. Year to date total non-residential starts are trailing 5.5% and total floor area fell 4.7% to 34,149,399m2. November wooden non-residential starts fell 4.6% to 1,565 units and floor area declined 1.7% to 283,278m2. Year to date wooden non-residential starts fell 4.3% and floor area edged down 1.5% to 2,935,795m2. Year to date wooden non-residential floor area increased from 8.4% to 5.9%. By wood use, the leading building types were medical, elderly care and welfare, mixed residential-commercial, restaurants and accommodation and business services.