FMI expects a post-virus rebound in the Japanese property marketOverseas Property | 19 Mar 2020
Hongkongers' love of Japan has, in recent years, spilled over to its property market, and in spite of the current epidemic, there are plenty of properties on offer.
Andy Yiu, Chief Investment Officer of FM Investment Group (FMI), maintains a positive outlook on the Japanese market, especially in the middle to long term. “Although the number of tourists toJapan has dried up in the short term due to the coronavirus, I believe its attraction will revive very rapidly after the virus is out of the way,” he says.
Yiu points out that the population of Tokyo, Osaka and other major cities has maintained a positive growth, resulting in a high occupancy rate of over 90%. Office supply in Tokyo and Osaka has also lagged behind demand, leading to a low vacancy rate and steadily rising rentals. As for hotels, occupancy rates should pick up once the epidemic is over, he says.
It is as yet uncertain whether the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will be held as scheduled. Amous Lee, Group CEO & Partner of FMI, concedes that any postponement of such a large-scale international event that will have an impact on the Japanese economy in the short term, especially for the retail and hotel industries. But he reckons Japan has such a strong economic base that it will be able to weather the storm.
Nicky So, Executive Director & Partner of FMI, notes that an increasing number of Hongkongers have been investing in the Japanese property market in recent years. While the purchases were mainly for investment purposes in the past, sentiments have now changed as more and more buyers are also looking to Japan as a safe haven in view of the social unrest in Hong Kong.
He highlights that Hongkongers is eligible to apply for a business manager visa in Japan upon a 100-million yen investment in Japan.
He also reveals that the Group has invested and developed about 20 projects in Japan, involving an amount of about 30 billion yen (about 2.2 billion Hong Kong dollars). Four projects in core districts of Toyko and Osaka are on offer now in Hong Kong, priced from 1.75 billion to 3.2 billion yen.
Also on the market is a commercial building of 17,000 sq. ft. with ground floor shops situated at Nishishinjuku 1, Toyko, and priced at around 3.2 billion yen. Another 7,395-sq.ft. development at Shinjuku is priced at 2.1 billion yen.
Meanwhile, a 9,998-sq. ft. commercial apartment at Harajuku is marketed at 1.75 billion yen; and a 13,000-sq.ft. commercial building with ground floor shops situated at the Chayamachi district, with leasing contract, is offered at 2.48 billion yen.
FM Investment Group