People abandoning home ownership dreams: survey

JIJI

For the first time in 12 years, less than 80 percent of Japanese hopes to own their own homes, a government survey revealed.

The development hints that a trend away from home ownership may be forming as people re-evaluate their incomes in light of the stagnant economic environment, a land ministry official said Tuesday.

A total of 3,000 adults from across the nation took part in the survey, which was conducted between January and February and drew valid answers from 57.3 percent of the respondents.

According to the results, 79.8 percent of Japanese want to be homeowners but 12.5 percent do not mind renting — the highest level since the survey began in fiscal 1993.

Asked what type of dwelling they desire, 71.3 percent said single-family homes, the second-lowest figure ever after last year’s record low of 70.6 percent.

Those eyeing condominiums stood at 10.4 percent, the third-highest figure ever.

Asked if they think land is a better asset than savings or stocks, a record low 32.9 percent answered affirmatively, while less than the 37.2 percent answered in the negative. This is the fourth consecutive year this trend has been observed.

The ministry said people have been skittish about buying real estate since the bubble economy imploded in the early 1990s.