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According to Mises Wire, Japan “relaxed development rules the Urban Renaissance Law of 2002” is one of the reasons why Japan is doing well with affordable housing.  

This made it possible for residential buildings to be constructed into high rise buildings. 

In Japan height is a key factor in making housing affordable considering that land is very expensive in Japan.

This is Japan’s secret behind her affordable houses. For instance, a 2 bed roomed house is 40% cheaper in Japan compared to the cost in San Francisco in the United States. 

It is equally 31% cheaper in Japan than in New York or 23% cheaper than in London. 

An important lesson that I’ve learnt from Japan is that cost of housing can be affordable if supply of housing is keeping up with demand. 

Paul Boyce, writing for the Mises Wire indicated that, “Tokyo’s housing growth rate is far in excess of its population increases of just under 1 percent per year.” 

This means that Tokyo is building so many houses at a quick pace. How is this possible?

First, the housing units in Japan are smaller and her zoning rules are quite flexible as we already mentioned. 

In fact, in Japan, residential housing can be constructed in any zone. This makes it possible for housing to be provided where it is in high demand. 

The customers or tenants and those who construct houses in Japan have a flexible mind. They know that the average life span of houses in Japan is pegged at 30 years. This means that those houses can easily be replaced in the nearby future. 

In Japan, due to earthquakes, the house producers keep rebuilding in order to adopt new technologies to resist the impact of earthquakes. 

Governments and builders should not just lament that that urban population is rapidly expanding. They should instead focus on producing more and more houses. 





September 21, 2019


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