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As we all know, a number of comparisons are drawn between the UK post 2008 and Japan 25 years ago.

I'm interested in comparing the two housing markets.

They got falling prices for 20 odd years. That never really happened here post 2008, especially not in London. But are we going to see it here?

So driving property prices we have in the UK:

1. Low rates, QE etc.

Esp. loads of people are paying absolutely nothing on their mortgages. Many of them don't sell because they don't want to lose the deal they're in. In a different environment many would have been forced to sell. That didn't happen. It has all led to a lack of supply.

Japan had monetary policy like this. But it came later and not as extreme. Is that right?

2. Restrictive planning laws leading to a dearth of new property being built, especially hard for those who want to self-build.

What were/are Japanese planning laws like?

3. Overseas buyers pushing up prices in London. (EG London is now the 5th largest city in France, if that makes sense).

Guess they kind of dried up after the crash in 89. Plus they don't have immigration like we do. Laws restrict it and people don't want to love in Tokyo as much as they do London. Is that fair enough?

Comments please ...

Edited by Frizzers

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I think people like Ah-So are better to ask. That said I live in Japan so had better respond.

The markets are totally different.

1. Japanese tend to self build, do not buy second hand housing, housing therefore does not retain value and operate as a savings vehicle in the UK manner.

2. Plots are available easily and it is not difficult to get planning permission. In Japan you get a lot of higgledy piggledy housing of various sizes and styles next to each other.

3. Fashionable places such as Tokyo are very expensive however

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Japan has a declining population growth

England has a rapidly increasing population growth

Hope this helps

This is actually a slightly misleading statistic. Since the start of the century there has been a 4 million increase in the total number of households. This reflects the continual move away from multi-generational cohabitation and more singles.

A lot of rice fields are still being converted to accommodation.

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The low rates in Japan have to be seen in light of the size of the bubble of the late 80s and the relative economic stagnation subsequently. Japan is still getting to grips with its post bubble economy and the banks' balance sheets were not able to support a lot of additional lending.

The relatively lax planning rules do mean that you can build pretty much anywhere, although I believe there are some odd rules about the height of houses which limits them usually to two storeys.

There is also no consideration given to the effect on neighbours, so nimbys don't get a look in. This can mean that the lovely view you had of the mountains is replaced by a five storey pachinko parlour one foot in front of your living room window or beauty spots are disfigured by thoughtless commercial property.

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This is actually a slightly misleading statistic. Since the start of the century there has been a 4 million increase in the total number of households. This reflects the continual move away from multi-generational cohabitation and more singles.

A lot of rice fields are still being converted to accommodation.

Interesting

There is a general move in the UK into lower number households putting pressure on housing. Many of the larger older houses being converted to flats/bedsits. But although demographics and other factors play a part the population figures can not be ignored.

Japan - Population

JAPAN POPULATION

2013 127341000 LESS 270,000 DENSITY 337 SQ KM

2012 127611000 LESS 206,277 DENSITY 338 SQ KM

2011 127817277

Edited by Flat Bear

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Interesting

There is a general move in the UK into lower number households putting pressure on housing. Many of the larger older houses being converted to flats/bedsits. But although demographics and other factors play a part the population figures can not be ignored.

Japan - Population

Date

Population

M. Population

F. Population

Population density

2013

127,341,000

337

2012

127,611,000

62,087,731

65,473,758

338

2011

127,817,277

62,237,726

65,579,551

338

Obviously we should not overlook population entirely, especially relative to the UK, but the decline is immaterial for japan compared to the sharp rise in total households.

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Obviously we should not overlook population entirely, especially relative to the UK, but the decline is immaterial for japan compared to the sharp rise in total households.

Point taken

but to compare

JAPAN POPULATION

2013 127341000 LESS 270,000 DENSITY 337 SQ KM

2012 127611000 LESS 206,277 DENSITY 338 SQ KM

2011 127817277

UK POPULATION

2012 63896071 PLUS 400,768 DENSITY 262

2011 63495303 PLUS 472,971 DENSITY 261

2010 63022332 DENSITY 259

No figures for 2013 for uk (countryeconomy.com) but there was a record increase.

I will try and find the figure for England as the much less densily populated Wales, Scotland and NI distort the picture.

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England population Data

Population growth is running at approx 0.85% per annum

Estimated population 2014 is around 58,000,000

27 March 2011 figures

population 56,100,000 density 371 per sq KM

England is the most densily pop country in Europe and is one of the most densily pop of the world with one of the fasted growing populations. London being the fasted growing city.

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Frizzers

As I have said many times, In the next Recession the Base Rate will go to Zero. How is THAT going to help anyone not earning with loads of debt?

How will they get a job in a Recession where rates cannot be slashed?

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England population Data

Population growth is running at approx 0.85% per annum

Estimated population 2014 is around 58,000,000

27 March 2011 figures

population 56,100,000 density 371 per sq KM

England is the most densily pop country in Europe and is one of the most densily pop of the world with one of the fasted growing populations. London being the fasted growing city.

Belgium has a population density of 941 per square mile. Much higher than England. But I recognise that the population has grown very sharply in the past decade.

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There is also no consideration given to the effect on neighbours, so nimbys don't get a look in. This can mean that the lovely view you had of the mountains is replaced by a five storey pachinko parlour one foot in front of your living room window or beauty spots are disfigured by thoughtless commercial property.

I liked the souvenir shops on top of Mt Fuji. Should have got myself a T-shirt while I was there, because I can't see myself climbing it again.

Edited by MarkG

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japans declining working age population may be a factor

an ever shrinking pool of working people are supporting the ever increasing retirees

over here we steal young working populations from poorer countries (bulgaria, romania etc) whereas japan they don't much like gaijin coming in

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Thanks folks. Very interesting.

From all this, I'm inferring that the pressures on the two housing markets are quite different.

Thus the assumption in terms of housing at least that 'Japan will happen here' is misplaced.

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Belgium has a population density of 941 per square mile. Much higher than England. But I recognise that the population has grown very sharply in the past decade.

Just realised that you were taking sq km not miles. However the Benelux countries still have higher population densities than England.

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Belgium has a population density of 941 per square mile. Much higher than England. But I recognise that the population has grown very sharply in the past decade.

England has become the most overcrowded major country in Europe.

Population growth is so rapid that four times as many people will soon be crammed in as France and twice as many as Germany.

England has overtaken the Netherlands to become second only to tiny Malta as the most densely populated nation in the EU.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2530125/This-worryingly-crowded-isle-England-officially-Europes-densely-packed-country.html#ixzz32eNRSof0

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Number of people expected to be living per square kilometre in 2015 - by country

  • England - 419
  • Holland - 408
  • Wales - 258
  • Germany - 226
  • Italy - 205
  • N. Ireland - 130
  • Poland - 123
  • Portugal - 116
  • France - 105
  • Romania - 89
  • Bulgaria - 66
  • Scotland - 40

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2530125/This-worryingly-crowded-isle-England-officially-Europes-densely-packed-country.html#ixzz32eOlvAnn

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Above from todays Mailonline

But best most recent estimates

Belgium 368 per sq km = 952 sq mile

England 383 per sq km = 992 sq mile

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Just realised that you were taking sq km not miles. However the Benelux countries still have higher population densities than England.

You do make an interesting point in bringing up the Netherlands

House prices are considerably more affordable than England albeit rising.

I can not easily see why this would be as although very slightly less densily populated it had been until relatively recently been of a higher density.

It seems they have a much higher proportion of usable land, but much of this is in danger of flooding. The flat lands of the west and north some of which reclaimed is just 1m above sea level with a large proportion below. It is a very urbanised country being one of the most crowded on the planet. Problems with polution seems to be a growing problem.

I had not given this area a real thought as to comparison with us. I do not know if there are any other problems there, possible friction with immigration? Use of resources etc.

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Belgium

Population

11,099,554

growth rate

0.6%

Not a small population around a fifth of ours and expanding quickly.

It will be interesting to see how things develope there over the coming years.

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This is actually a slightly misleading statistic. Since the start of the century there has been a 4 million increase in the total number of households. This reflects the continual move away from multi-generational cohabitation and more singles.

Couldn't that be attributed as normal elasticity of demand? As prices fall, more people who previously would have made compromises (shared, with partner, with parents) decide they can afford to live separately.

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my understanding of and opinions on japan is entirely based upon seeing japanese films, but it seems to have more dense cities, but lower density country/provincial towns and villages, which still can function as independent units, thanks to reasonably good transport connections and local life etc. (as opposed to uk, where most of the county as as a commuter area to funnel traffic into the nearest conurbation)

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It seems they have a much higher proportion of usable land, but much of this is in danger of flooding.

We have lots of usable land, we just can't get planning permission to build on it!

Naturally the majority by far of comments section (representing the average Tory voter) is extremely hostile to any building or development going on anywhere in the country, with some even calling for even tighter planning regs. So I thought is there any data out there that can clear up this idea of "concrete England?". And the answer is yes, I very quickly found this article by the BBC reporting on the UK environmental accounts published by the ONS anf UK National Ecosystem Assessment.

In fact not only is England not concreted over, but the portion of its woodland has increased to cover 12.7% of the UK, the highest proportion since 1924 when records began.

It gets better though.According to the UK National Ecosystem Assessment:

6.8% of the UK's land area is now classified as urban" (a definition that includes rural development and roads, by the way).

and

The urban landscape accounts for 10.6% of England, 1.9% of Scotland, 3.6% of Northern Ireland and 4.1% of Wales.

Put another way, that means almost 93% of the UK is not urban. But even that isn't the end of the story because urban is not the same as built on.

In urban England, for example, the researchers found that just over half the land (54%) in our towns and cities is greenspace - parks, allotments, sports pitches and so on.

Furthermore, domestic gardens account for another 18% of urban land use; rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs an additional 6.6%.

Their conclusion?

In England, "78.6% of urban areas is designated as natural rather than built". Since urban only covers a tenth of the country, this means that the proportion of England's landscape which is built on is

… 2.27%.

Yes. According to the most detailed analysis ever conducted, almost 98% of England is, in their word, natural.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18623096

So not only is the UK actually increasing its share of woodland and greenbelt, the myth of concreting England is being pushed very heavily onto a population by at best a bunch of uninformed emotional lunatics or at worst some vested interest borderline sociopaths.

It is amazing that these facts are not more widely known by a population going through a housing a crisis and instead the NT simon jenkins propaganda line is.

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=198365&hl=

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The Japanese population rose during the fifteen years straight down for property, they had a minibubble and crash in line with the rest of us in 2007... I do wonder whether our bigger and quicker monetary interventions mean we have done it the other way round so our big long decline is yet to come

Even though the uk population is rising I believe we have the same problem with our inverse dependency ratio having peaked in 2007 whereas theirs peaked around 1989

http://www.bis.org/review/r120821a.pdf?frames=0

Really makes me think we might be in for some of the same treatment unless big energy efficiency improvements etc somehow pull us through

Someone who gets mixed reviews in this site is Martin Armstrong (not really sure about my own thoughts on him to be honest). But he claims real estate is subject to a 52 year wave broadly up and a 26 year wave broadly down. So if he's right we should be stagnating or declining after the next couple of years. He claims the previous major peak in japan before 1989 was 1911 (where one sources data on land prices in early twentieth century japan I don't know). So if you believe him then we are in for something similar although perhaps not as bad

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Someone who gets mixed reviews in this site is Martin Armstrong (not really sure about my own thoughts on him to be honest). But he claims real estate is subject to a 52 year wave broadly up and a 26 year wave broadly down. So if he's right we should be stagnating or declining after the next couple of years. He claims the previous major peak in japan before 1989 was 1911 (where one sources data on land prices in early twentieth century japan I don't know). So if you believe him then we are in for something similar although perhaps not as bad

Unless Armstrong has very good international data over several hundred years I would find it hard to believe him. More likely it is fitting the political and economic events of the twentieth century into a "wave" theory. A bit of historical determinism makes things so much easier!

Drawing a consistent line of Japanese property prices between the dawn of the twentieth century and the end, with industrialisation and a massive war in the middle is just far fetched.

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