Business

Japan considers revival of housing ‘eco-points’ ahead of consumption tax hike

JIJI

The land ministry is considering reviving an “eco-point” subsidy program to promote energy-efficient newly built and renovated homes, sources said Monday.

Such a measure would help curb a possible decline in housing demand following the planned consumption tax hike from the current 8 percent to 10 percent in October next year, the sources said.

Under the program, eco-points would be provided for new homes that meet energy-saving standards and renovation work to make windows and walls at existing homes better insulated.

One point will be worth one yen and exchangeable for environmentally friendly goods and gift tickets.

In 2015, when the program was previously offered, the ministry granted eco-points worth ¥300,000 for a new home and up to ¥450,000 for renovation work to improve both heat insulation and earthquake resistance.

The ministry will set details through discussions with the Finance Ministry, the sources said.

It also plans to expand the existing tax cut for housing loan borrowers and a cash handout program for low- and middle-income home buyers.

Details are expected to become final at year-end after discussions at forums such as the tax panels of the ruling parties.