New housing starts to drop to less than 10,000 in 2033
Nansei Shoto Industrial Advancement Center (NIAC) is predicting that the demand of new housing in Okinawa Prefecture will drop in the future, and the starts of the new housing construction will be less than 10,000 in 2033, plunging to about 9,400 in 2035.
The center makes its prediction on the basis that the growth rate of the number of households is expected to slow down. The number of housing starts has been at 10,000-level since 1969. NIAC predicts that the total number of households in the prefecture would reach its peak of 606,600 in 2034, and then start to decrease. Because the new housing starts decline, the center expects the impact on the housing industry to be significant.
The most recent boost to new housing starts took place in 2013 when the number increased to 16,000-level for the first time in seven years, jolted by the April 2014 increase in the consumption tax rate. Since then, the number has stayed high based on the strong economic performance of the prefecture combined with low interest rates of bank lending. 16,136 new housing projects were recorded in 2015. The highest number on record is 22,253 in 1973, which is the year after Okinawa reversion to Japan.
There were 12,800 empty houses in the prefecture in 1973. However, the number increased to 62,400 in 2013. NIAC predicts the number to increase to about 119,900 by 2035, when 16.6% of the houses within the prefecture would be unoccupied. That figure in 2013 was 10.4%.