2019年4月18日 星期四

Overseas companies - a selling market for Japanese stock in 2018, the first time in 31 years


Recently the Nihon Keizai Shimbun On-line reported the following:
海外勢、日本株31年ぶり売越額に 18年度
日銀が同額相殺、売り買い拮抗
2019/4/4 18:00
海外投資家が日本株の売りを膨らませている。2018年度の売越額は約56300億円と、31年ぶり高水準となった。米中貿易戦争などを背景に世界経済の先行きに慎重姿勢を強めたためだ。ただ日銀がほぼ同額(約56500億円)の買いで相殺し、売り買いが拮抗。海外勢の売りを日銀が一手に受け止めるいびつな構図が鮮明になっている

東京証券取引所が4日発表した投資部門別売買動向をもとに集計した。海外勢の売越額はバブル経済の本格化で日本株の上昇が続いた1987年度以来の高水準となる。売り越しは2年連続。

海外勢の売りが膨らんだ最大の要因は、世界景気の減速への警戒だ。日本株は輸出型の製造業が多く、世界景気の動向に左右されやすい。米中貿易戦争や中国経済の減速など先行き不透明感が強まるなか、海外勢が日本株の投資判断を下げる例が相次いだ。

世界最大の資産運用会社、米ブラックロックは187月に、日本株の投資スタンスを「強気」から「中立」に約18カ月ぶりに変更した。

世界3位の資産運用会社、米ステート・ストリート・グローバル・アドバイザーズは、米中貿易戦争の解決の道筋が見えないことなどを理由に、リスク資産である株式そのものに対する投資割合を181012月に引き下げた。このうち日本株についても円高リスクなどを理由に19年に入ってから投資判断を「中立」から「やや弱気」に引き下げている。

こうした海外勢の売りを日本株の上場投資信託(ETF)買いで吸収したのが日銀だ。日銀は「リスクプレミアムの縮小」を目的に、日経平均がおおむね1万円を下回っていた10年にETFを買い始めた。購入額は当初4500億円だった。16年には6兆円とする方針を打ち出した。

日銀のETF買い入れ額を集計すると、18年度は56500億円に及ぶ。保有残高は3日時点の推計で、約29兆円と、東証1部の時価総額(約600兆円)の5%弱を占めるもようだ。

日銀はETFの大規模な購入を通じて資産価格の上昇や個人消費の活性化を促し、物価上昇につなげる効果を見込む。だが、中央銀行が直接株高を支える異例の政策はリスクも大きい。

日銀の雨宮正佳副総裁は3月、国会で「日経平均株価が18000円程度を下回ると保有ETFの時価が簿価を下回る」との試算を示した。足元の相場水準からはまだ距離があるが、ひとたび株安局面に転じて日銀の自己資本が毀損する事態になれば、通貨の信認も揺らぎかねない。

Translation 

Overseas investors were increasing selling Japanese stocks. The amount of sales in fiscal year 2018 was about 5,630 billion yen, a 31-year high.  Against the background of a US-China trade war and other factors caution about the future of the world economy was becoming strong. However, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) offset it by buying in almost the same amount (approximately 5.65 trillion yen) and buying and selling were offsetting each other. The imbalance picture that the BOJ singled-handedly taking up the sale from foreigners was clear at a glance.

Based on investment trends worked out by investment sector announced on the 4th by the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the recent amount of overseas sales had been high, counting from since 1987 when Japanese stocks continued to rise with a bubble economy in earnest. The selling out was two years in a row.

The biggest factor behind the foreigner’s sale was an alert to a slowdown in the global economy. There were many export-type manufacturers in Japanese stocks, and they were easily influenced by trends in the global economy. With an uncertainty in the outlook such as the US-China trade war and the slow going of the Chinese economy, there had been a series of cases where foreigners had scaled down the decision to invest in Japanese stocks.

BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, changed the stance on Japanese stocks from "bully" to "neutral" in July 2018 for the first time in about one year and eight months.

State Street Global Advisors, the third largest asset manager in the world, had from October to December 2018 reduced the investment ratio of stocks with risky asset for reasons such as lack of a clear path to resolve the US-China trade war.  Among them, they also lowered their investment judgment on Japanese stocks from "neutral" to "slightly bearish" after 2019 because of a risk of yen appreciation.

The Bank of Japan absorbed these foreign sales by buying in the Japanese stock exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The Bank of Japan began buying ETFs in 2010 when the Nikkei average was generally below 10,000 yen,  it served the aim as " a premium for risks reduction." The initial purchase amount was 45 billion yen. It announced a policy to set it at 6 trillion yen in 2016.

The total amount of ETF purchases by the BOJ amounted to 5.65 trillion yen in FY2006. The balance of holdings was estimated to be about 29 trillion yen as of the 3rd, representing nearly 5% of the market capitalization (about 600 trillion yen) of the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The Bank of Japan boosted asset prices and stimulated consumer spending through large-scale purchases of ETFs and it was expected to lead to a rising prices of commodities. However, the exceptional policy that a central bank directly supported share appreciation was also risky.

In March, the National Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masatoshi Amamiya stated in the National Assembly that "If the Nikkei Stock Average falls below about 18,000 yen, the market value of ETFs held will fall below the book value." Although there was still a distance from the current market level, yet once the stock market turned into a downturn the BOJ's equity capital could be damaged, and currency confidence might also fluctuate.

     So, the Japanese government is directly supporting the share prices of many Japanese companies.

2019年4月15日 星期一

My visit to Tokyo 2018 (21)

Yananka Ginja


On the 4th of November I visited Yanaka Ginja (谷中銀座 ) in the morning. The Tokyo Travel Guide introduced Yanaka Ginja as a leisure spot and said that “Yanaka together with Nezu and Sendagi is a popular spot for strolling. There many shines and temples. One of the main spots is Yanaka Ginza, which is crowed with both man and women, young an old, as there is everything from old established shops opened since the Taisho era, to modern sweet shops. Many cats also gather at the Yuyake Dandan staircase, which is a hot spot for taking pictures of cats, located at the entrance of the shopping street.” As a cat-lover I want to have a look of the cats.
A Township Guide Map

Nippori Station Map







I traveled to Yanaka Ginja using the Yamanote Line and got off at the Nippori Station (日暮里駅). There was a shopping street in Yanaka Ginja which had many small shops, including food shops from western style restaurants that served toast and coffee to Japanese style food stalls that offered tempura. There were also a shop selling small electrical items, on top of some shops that sold household daily items. While I was strolling along the shopping street, a young local people came towards me to ask in English whether I needed any tour guide service. While I wondered how he could tell that I am a non-local/tourist at a glance, I surprised him by saying in Japanese that “no, thank you; I shall do the sight-seeing by myself.” I stop at a one food stall to buy some tempera. The food’s quality and taste were just ordinary. I think this was a logical outcome as the price of the tempera was super cheap.
 
The tempura of this shop was cheap

There was a shop called “7-Day’s” which sold many small objects such as wood cups and bowls and had attracted many young boys and girls looking for their favourite items. Further down the shopping street there was a  meat shop, the Sendagi honten(千駄木本店) which sold high quality Japanese beef. Right in front of this shop, I saw a man dressed in white selling take-away hot food. At nearby there were chairs where customers could sit down an enjoy the food right away.

Sendagi Honten
The "7-Days" shop

While I was attracted to here by the cats, I was disappointed. I could see only two old and thin cats in the whole street, perhaps the timing of my visit was not right.


2019年4月12日 星期五

Communication infrastructure share - Huawei fell to 2nd place


Recently the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Electronic Edition reported the following:
通信インフラシェア、ファーウェイ2位に転落
エレクトロニクス 中国・台湾
2019/3/29 21:30日本経済新聞 電子版

【北京=多部田俊輔、深圳=川上尚志】2018年の携帯通信インフラの世界シェアで中国の通信機器最大手、華為技術(ファーウェイ)が2位に順位を落とし、スウェーデンのエリクソンが2年ぶりに首位を奪還したことがわかった。次世代通信規格「5G」に限ると、ファーウェイは4位だった。トランプ米政権によるファーウェイ製品の排除が通信インフラ市場の勢力図にも影響を及ぼし始めた。

英調査会社IHSマークイットがまとめた18年の基地局などの売上高シェアで、エリクソンが29.0%17年比2.4ポイント上昇する一方、ファーウェイは26.0%と同1.9ポイント低下した。
ファーウェイのシェア低下について、IHSマークイットは「貿易戦争の影響で一部新規購入を控えた国があった」と分析する。現行の「4G」から5Gへの移行期という要因も重なり、世界全体の市場規模は305億ドル(約34千億円)と17年比18%縮小した。

地域別にみると、北米ではエリクソンが68%と圧倒的なシェアを占める半面、ファーウェイは6%にとどまった。一方、ファーウェイは欧州・中東・アフリカで40%、アジア太平洋で30%と、17年よりそれぞれ2ポイントシェアを拡大した。「ファーウェイは(米国による排除活動の)影響のない地域で販売を強化したため、シェアの下落は小幅にとどまった」(IHSマークイット)

5G通信機器の推定出荷台数シェアではエリクソンが24%でトップ。サムスン電子(21%)、ノキア(20%)が続き、ファーウェイ(17%)は4位だった。ファーウェイは5G関連の特許出願件数では先行したが、米国が5Gを標的にファーウェイを排除したことがビジネスに影響を及ぼしているとみられる。

米国は188月、政府機関のファーウェイ製品などの使用を禁じる国防権限法を制定した。同盟国にも不使用を呼びかけ、オーストラリアはファーウェイの5G参入禁止を決定。日本も政府調達から中国製を事実上締め出す指針を示した。

欧州連合(EU)は加盟国の判断に委ねる勧告を出したが、ドイツは独自の基準を作るとともに米国とも協議する方針を示している。多くの国がこれから5G向けの設備投資に本格的に着手する見通しで、各国の指針が今後のシェア争いを左右する可能性もある。

ファーウェイが29日発表した1812月期決算は売上高が前の期比19.5%増の7212億元(約119000億円)と過去最高を更新する一方、基地局など通信会社向け事業の売上高は1.3%減の2940億元に落ち込んだ。同事業の減収は「ここ最近では無かった」(ファーウェイ)という。
郭平・副会長兼輪番会長は広東省深圳の本社で開いた記者会見で「世界の通信投資の周期的な影響を受けた」と述べ、5Gへの移行期で通信会社の投資が大きく増えなかったためと強調。米国による排除方針の影響には言及を避けた。

中国の同業大手、中興通訊(ZTE)は米政府から米企業との取引を禁じる制裁を受けて半導体を調達できなくなり、業務を一時停止した。郭氏は「分断を避けるため、複数の生産計画がある」と語り、部品在庫の積み増しや調達先の分散を急ぐ考えを示した。

Translation

In 2018 Huawei, the telecommunications equipment leader in China dropped to the second place in global share of mobile communication infrastructure. Sweden's Ericsson became the first again after two years and regained the leadership. As for the next-generation communication standard "5G", Huawei was fourth. The elimination of Huawei products by the Trump US administration had begun to impact on the market power map of telecommunications infrastructure.

Based on the share of sales of base stations etc. in 2018 compiled by a British research company IHS Markit, Ericsson's share increased by 2.4 points to reach 29.0% compared with 2017, while Huawei decreased by 1.9 points to stand at 26.0%. Regarding the decline in Huawei's share, IHS Markit analyzed that "some countries have refrained from making some new purchases due to the effects of the trade war." Due to the transition period from the current 4G to 5G, the global market size shrank from 2017  by 18% to $ 30.5 billion (approx. 3.4 trillion yen).

By region, Ericsson had an overwhelming share of 68% in North America, while Huawei was only 6%. On the other hand, Huawei expanded its share by two-point since 2017 respectively to reach 40% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and reached 30% in Asia-Pacific. "a fall in market share has been modest as Huawei has strengthened sales in non-affected areas (of US exclusion)," (IHS Markit)

Ericsson topped the list of estimated shipments of 5G communication equipment with 24%, followed by Samsung Electronics (21%), Nokia (20%), and Huawei (17%) at fourth. Although Huawei had been ahead in the number of patent applications related to 5G, it seemed that the US's rejection of Huawei to target at 5G was affecting the latter’s business.

In August 18, the United States enacted a defense authority law that prohibited the use of Huawei products in government agencies. It also requested its allies not to use Hauwei products. Australia decided to ban Huawei's 5G entry. Japan also disclosed a guideline to effectively shut out Chinese merchandise from government procurement.

The European Union (EU) had issued a recommendation to leave the decision to member states, but Germany had indicated its policy to develop its own standards and to consult with the United States. Many countries were expected to make full-fledged capital investments on 5G from now on, and the guidelines of individual countries might possibly influence the future competition in market share.

Huawei's financial results announced on the 29th showed a net sale increased of 19.5% to 721.2 billion yuan (about 11.90 trillion yen) from the previous term. While it reached a record high, for telecommunications companies such as base stations business, sales fell 1.3% to 294.0 billion yuan. It was said that the decline in sales in the same business was "not recently" (Huawei).

Guo Ping, vice-chairman and co-chairman at a news conference held at company headquarters in Shenzhen of Guangdong Province said, "the company was affected by global telecommunications investment cycles" and emphasized the reasons not to increase significantly investment in telecommunications companies during the transition to 5G. He declined to mention about the impact of the US exclusion policy.

An industry leader in the same trade in China, Zhong Xing Tong (ZTE), suspended the business because it could not procure semiconductors due to sanctions issued by the US government which prohibited it doing business with US companies. Mr. Guo said, "There are multiple production plans to avoid disruptions," and it was urgent to build up parts inventory and to diversify suppliers.

              I hope the trade war centering around 5G between China the US would end soon.


2019年4月11日 星期四

My visit to Tokyo 2018 (20)

From Taito looking east one can see the Skytree
A location map of Taito








On the third of November I walked around Tokyo’s Taito district (台東区) and enjoyed some local food as lunch and dinner. I considered it at an in-depth visit to this place. Taito district was a region that tourists seldom visited because there was no tourist attractions. My purpose was to see it first hand to know how the local people bought their daily food.

CCS. Many customers came here by bicycles
CCS had a lot of fresh fruit







In this district, there was a supermarket the CCS (Consumerism Convenience Store) and a chain food store, the Kawachiya ( 河内屋 ) which supposedly to be a food/wine wholesaler. The CCS sold all kinds of daily food items, from vegetable to fruit, from fish to sashimi. I noted that CCS was a popular place for local families to buy their daily food as during the rush hours it was full of customers. One special item of this supermarket was its fresh deep-fry items: fish, chicken and potato etc. There was a fresh sea food corner when one could buy a large piece of tuna and asked the staff to cut it into small pieces for you.
 
Kawachiya. Customers often came here by bicycles
Kawachiya was different from CCS in several areas. It sold mostly packed food or refrigerated food such as meat products.  While there was no fresh fish, vegetable or sashimi, there was a wine corner where one could buy different brand names imported and locally made spirit; and also popular Japanese sake.
In this district several things were noted. I noticed that many people here, both men and women loved riding their bicycles to work or to do their daily shopping. Many drove their bicycles on the pavement instead of on the road. Also, there were a lot of small BBQ food stores selling take-away strings of chicken meat at a price of 100 yen. I also found a small restaurant that customers had to stand while eating, the so called Risshoku(立食). 

I bought rice-omelet from this sore
The rice-omelet is beautiful








There were also many food stores selling take away bento (お弁当) or sushi tray. From some of these local shops I bought one オムライス(rice-omelet) and some sushi.

The take-away sushi that I bought


2019年4月7日 星期日

Government to annually train up 250,000 people as AI human resources - basic education for all university students


Recently the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Electronic Edition reported the following:
政府、AI人材年25万人育成へ 全大学生に初級教育
データの世紀 経済 政治 ネット・IT

2019/3/27 6:34日本経済新聞 電子版
政府が策定する「AI戦略」の全容が分かった。人工知能(AI)を使いこなす人材を年間25万人育てる新目標を掲げる。文系や理系を問わず全大学生がAIの初級教育を受けるよう大学に要請し、社会人向けの専門課程も大学に設置する。ビッグデータやロボットなど先端技術の急速な発達で、AI人材の不足が深刻化している。日本の競争力強化に向け、政府が旗振り役を担う。

政府の統合イノベーション戦略推進会議(議長・菅義偉官房長官)で29日に公表する。

あらゆるモノがネットにつながる「IoT」の普及やビッグデータの活用に伴い、AIを必要とする事業は、IT業界にとどまらず様々な分野に広がっている。高度な専門技術者に加え、今後は幅広い人材がAIの基礎知識を持っていなければ、競争力ある製品の開発や事業展開は難しい。

一方、急速な実用化の速度に、大学や企業の人材育成は追いついていない。大学のAI教育の規模はまだ小さく、政府の調べでは修士課程を修了する人材は東大や京大、早大などの11大学で年間900人弱。全国でも2800人程度にとどまる。一般学生への対応はさらに遅れており、経済産業省によると、AIなどのIT知識をもつ人材は日本の産業界で2020年末には約30万人不足していると試算する。

政府は今の教育制度では十分に対応ができないとみて体制づくりに乗り出す。様々な分野で活躍する人材が「ディープラーニング(深層学習)」の仕組みやAIを使ったデータ分析のやり方といった基礎知識を持てるようにし、日本の産業競争力の底上げを図る。

目玉に据えるのが高等教育へのAI教育の導入だ。年間約50万人いる全ての大学生や高等専門学校生(高専)に初級水準のAI教育を課す。最低限のプログラミングの仕組みを知り、AIの倫理を理解することを求める。受講した学生には水準に応じた修了証を発行し、就職活動などに生かしやすくする。

そのうち25万人は、さらに専門的な知識を持つAI人材として育成する。初級水準の習得に加え「ディープラーニング」を体系的に学び、機械学習のアルゴリズムの理解ができることを想定する。「AIと経済学」や「データサイエンスと心理学」など、文系と理系の垣根を問わず、AIを活用できるよう教育を進める。

現状、4年制大学では文系が42万人、理工系が12万人、保健系が6万人いる。このうち、理工系と保健系を合わせた18万人に加え、文系の15%程度にあたる7万人がAI人材になる想定だ。合計で政府の新目標の達成を目指す。

社会人の学び直しもテコ入れする。2022年までに大学に専門コースを設置し、政府が費用の一部を支援する。年間2000人を教育する目標だ。AIの活用に必要な「ディープラーニング」などの習得を目指す。

政府は大学側に一連の改革案を順次、カリキュラムに反映するよう求める。企業にはインターンシップなどを通じてAIの技能をもつ学生の受け入れ環境を整えるよう促す。企業側がAI技能を持った学生を高待遇で受け入れるようになれば、大学側も積極的に教育課程に反映していくことが見込まれる。

Translation

The complete "AI strategy" formulated by the government was understood. A new goal was set to raise annually 250,000 people as human resources that could use artificial intelligence (AI). All university students, regardless of humanities or science stream, would be required to receive education on introductory AI course in the universities; specialized courses for working adults would be established in the universities. With the rapid development of advanced technologies such as big data and robots, the shortage of AI personnel was becoming serious. The government played a leading role in strengthening Japan's competitiveness.

It would be announced on the 29th at the government's Integrated Innovation Strategy Promotion Council (Chairman - Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga).

With the spread of “IoT,” where everything would be connected to the Internet, and the use of big data, businesses that required AI were spreading to various fields and not just limited to the IT industry. On top of having highly specialized engineers, if a wide range of human resources did not have the basic knowledge of AI,  to develop competitive products or businesses would  be difficult.

On the other hand, human resource development in universities and companies had not kept pace with the rapid speed of commercialization. The scale of AI education in the universities was still small. According to a government survey, the number in human resources who had completed a master's program was less than 900 people a year in the 11 universities such as Todai, Kyoto University and Waseda. It would stay at around 2800 people in the whole country. Preparation for students in general  was even more slow. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, it was estimated that in the Japanese industry about 300,000 people with IT knowledge such as AI were lacking in human resources by the end of 2020.

The government saw the current education system could not adequately cope with the situation and would set up a system. The aim was to raise Japan's industrial competitiveness by enabling people who were active in various fields to have basic knowledge such as the "deep learning" mechanism and the method of data analysis using AI.

The highlight would be the introduction of AI education to higher education.  Elementary class AI education for all college students and technical college students of approximately 500,000 would be taught annually. The hope was to make them know the minimum programming mechanism and understand the ethics of AI. Students who had taken the course would be issued certificates of completion according to their level so as to make it easier for them to find employments.

Among them, 250,000 people would be groomed as AI personnel with more specialized knowledge. In addition to basic level acquisition, the expectation was that “deep learning” would be systematically studied and that machine learning algorithm would be understood. It would promote education to enable the use of AI such as "AI and economics", and "data science and psychology" regardless of humanities or sciences streams.

At present, in the four-year universities there were 420,000 students in humanities, 120,000 in science, and 60,000 in health.  Among them, 180,000 people belonged to combined science and health; together with the 70,000, or about 15% students from humanities, they would be targeted to become AI personnel. The aim was to achieve the government new goal in total.

It would also re-work the learning of the working people in the society. Specialized courses in universities would be in place by 2022, and the government would support part of the cost. The goal was to educate 2,000 people a year. The aim was to acquire "deep learning" etc. necessary for using AI.

The government urged the universities to systematically reflect a series of reform plans in their curriculum. It encouraged companies to set up a welcoming environment for students with AI skills through internships etc. If the company side accepted students who had AI skills with generous treatments, it was expected that the universities would respond actively in their curriculum.

        It seems that Japan is preparing the country with a workforce that have AI skills in face of the coming new IT era.

2019年4月6日 星期六

British Financial Time – number of paid subscribers reached 1 million


Recently Nihon Keizai Shimbun On-line reported the following:
FT、有料購読者数が100万に
ヨーロッパ
2019/4/1 16:24
【ロンドン=篠崎健太】英経済紙フィナンシャル・タイムズ(FT)を発行する英フィナンシャル・タイムズ・グループは1日、有料購読者数が100万に同日達したと発表した。4分の3以上を電子版が占めている。パソコンのほかスマートフォンなどを通じた読者を世界で増やし、社内の目標を1年前倒しで達成した。

FTは電子版を成長の軸に据える「デジタルファースト」戦略を掲げ、世界の新聞業界では早くから電子化を推し進めてきた。電子版を創刊したのは1995年で、2002年から有料制を始めた。グローバル化も進め、購読者の約7割が英国外だ。

FT15年に買収した日本経済新聞社は、電子版の有料会員数が1911日時点で651702。日経・FTグループ全体の有料購読数は約400万になっている。

Translation

London = Kenta Shinozaki The Financial Times Group, which published a financial newspaper the Financial Times (FT), announced on the 1st that their number of paid subscribers reached 1 million on the same day. Electronic version accounted for more than three quarters. Readers increased around the world through PCs as well as smartphones, and it achieved its internal goals a year ahead of schedule.

FT's "digital first" strategy that put the electronic version at the center of growth had led the company to promote digitization early in the world's newspaper industry. The electronic version was launched in 1995, and paid services started in 2002. Globalization was in progress, and about 70% of its subscribers were outside the UK.

Nihon Keizai Shimbun, which acquired FT in 2015 years, had 651,702 electronic paid subscribers as of January 1, 2019. The total number of paid subscriptions for the Nikkei /FT Group was approximately 4 million.

    It seems that the Nikkei/FT group is popular globally among readers.

2019年4月4日 星期四

Official land price increased in four consecutive years - local residential area also went up


Recently the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Electronic Edition reported the following:
公示地価、4年連続上昇 地方の住宅地もプラス
経済
2019/3/19 16:50日本経済新聞 電子版
国土交通省が19日発表した201911日時点の公示地価は、商業・工業・住宅の全用途(全国)で1.2%のプラスと4年連続で上昇した。1991年のピーク時から4割程度まで戻した。地方圏は2年連続の上昇で地方の住宅地は27年ぶりにプラスに転じた。低金利環境が不動産投資や個人の住宅取得を下支えする一方、過熱気味な都心の一部は伸び率が鈍化し一服感も見られる。

商業地は2.8%上昇と、18年の1.9%から上げ幅を拡大。東京、名古屋、大阪の三大都市圏は5.1%上昇し、近年の伸び率としてはリーマン・ショック直前の08年に次ぐ高い水準だ。

地方の中枢都市はさらに高い伸びを示した。商業地では、札幌、仙台、広島、福岡の4市の平均上昇率が9.4%に達した。県庁所在地などの都市部や、訪日外国人客らが集まる地域が上昇率が高い。トップはスノーリゾートが集積するニセコ周辺の北海道倶知安町内で58.8%だった。

住宅地の上昇の支えは低金利だ。近年の地価下落で値ごろ感が生まれ、需要が再び盛んになった。企業が人手不足などで賃上げを進めていることも、個人の住宅取得への意欲を高めている。地方の中枢都市が高値をつけ始めたことで、周辺地域の需要に上昇が波及しつつある。佐賀県鳥栖市は福岡市へのアクセスの良さも評価され、住宅地は2年連続で上昇した。

全用途のピーク時の91年を起点として変動率をもとに指数化して試算したところ、19年の価格は91年の約40%の水準まで戻した。底値の15年と比べると2%程度上昇。13年に底値だった東京圏では8%ほど上がった。

伸びが続く地価だが、2ケタの伸びを記録したバブル期に比べれば上昇率は小さい。東京など大都市圏の商業地の地価はバブル期の23割程度の水準。「実需の裏付けがある投資」(国交省)という点も好調な上昇を後押しする。

それでも、過熱気味な東京都心では一服感もみてとれる。都心5区(千代田、中央、港、新宿、渋谷)の最高価格地点を見ると、千代田を除いて伸び率が鈍化した。過熱感を警戒し、けん引役であった海外の投資マネーは退潮が鮮明になりつつある。新築分譲マンション市場でも首都圏では価格の高止まりを受けて販売が減速している。

Translation

The official land price as of January first 2019, as announced by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on January 2019, had been rising for four consecutive years with an up of 1.2% for all commercial, industrial, and residential usage (nationwide). It returned to about 40% of the peak at 1991. The rural area turned positive for the first time in 27 years with a rise in the second consecutive year. While the low interest rate environment underpinned real estate investment and private housing acquisition,  in some overheated urban areas a feeling of slowing down could be felt.

Commercial land rose 2.8%, rising from 1.9% in 2018. The three major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka had risen by 5.1%, and the recent growth rate was the second highest since 2008, just before the Lehman shock.

Regional central cities had shown even higher growth. In commercial areas, the average rate of increase for the four cities of Sapporo, Sendai, Hiroshima and Fukuoka reached 9.4%. The rate of increase was high in urban areas such as the prefecture capital, and in areas where foreign visitors in Japan chose to stay. The top was 58.8% in area around Niseko of Kutchan-cho in Hokkaido where snow resorts concentrated.

Low interest rate supported the rise in residential areas. The recent decline in land prices had made the market more affordable, and demand had flourished again. The fact that companies were raising wages due to labor shortages was also raising the motivation for individuals to acquire housing. As regional key cities began to hit high prices, demand in the surrounding area also went up. The city of Tosu in Saga Prefecture was valued for its good access to Fukuoka City, and the residential area had risen for two consecutive years.

When an estimate was done based on the rate of change starting from 1991 which was at the peak time for all usage, the price for 2019 had returned to the level of about 40% of 1991. It was about 2% higher than the bottom price of 2015. It rose about 8% in the Tokyo area which had bottomed out in 2013.

While land prices continue to grow, the rate of increase was smaller than in the bubble season which recorded double-digit growth. Land prices in commercial areas of metropolitan areas such as Tokyo were around 20-30% of the bubble period. The "investment backed by real demand" (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) also supported a strong rise.

Still, in overheated Tokyo area, you could see a pause. Looking at the highest price point in the five wards of central Tokyo (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku, Shibuya), the growth rate slowed down except for Chiyoda. For overseas investment money, which had been wary of overheating and was a driving force, a recession was becoming clearer. Even in the newly built condominium market, sales had been sluggish in the Tokyo metropolitan area due to the high price.

              I am interested in knowing whether the 2020 Olympics had played a role in the recent property market growth in central Tokyo.