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Japan Major Report - Japan Market Outlook 2023

December 15, 2022

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01        Economy

The moderate recovery of the Japanese economy is expected to continue in 2023, driven by consumer spending and corporate capital investment. However, with the output gap still negative, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) has made it clear that it will retain its loose monetary policy for the time being. If the economic recovery were to lead to a rise in corporate earnings as well as real wages, thereby maintaining moderate inflation, the likelihood of a shift to a tighter monetary policy would increase. However, the consensus is that such a move, were it to eventuate, would not occur until H2 2023 at the earliest.

02       Office

While relocations to higher grade office buildings were on the rise in 2022, downsizings and consolidations were still widely observed, leading to a general upward trend in vacancy rates. As an increasing number of companies favor the implementation of hybrid working schemes, tenants are likely to become more selective than before with respect to office specifications. With increases in supply forecast for most cities, market rents are likely to continue to fall.

03      Retail

The Ginza highstreet market will continue to be driven primarily by demand from luxury goods brands in 2023. While high street rents appear to have bottomed and maintaining the low levels, they should begin to rise once again in Q4 2022 and continue to slowly increase thereafter.

04       Logistics​

Unprecedented volumes of new supply is expected across Japan in 2023, due to the greater focus placed on logistics properties by developers. As a result, vacancy rates are expected to rise in all four metropolitan areas, despite continued robust tenant demand for logistics space.

05       Investment

Commercial real estate transaction volume in Japan for 2022 is expected to be slightly lower than the previous year’s level.  Nevertheless, expected yields have continued to decline, indicating that investor appetite remains stable. Some investors have become more selective amid overseas interest rate hikes and concerns over a possible recession in US and Europe.  However, the BoJ appears unlikely to tighten its monetary policy in the short term, and appetite for Japan real estate looks set to remain robust in 2023.