- November 1, 2015: Vol. 7, Number 10

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Young and old: Can Asian property investors project red or black through the grey?

by Benjamin Cole

For the institutional real estate investor perusing Asia with an eye on age cohorts and demographics, suddenly the future is now.

Some major cities in Japan are losing population already, for example, and most will in coming decades. Nor is this likely a reversible trend, akin to US-style urban blight or upper-income flight; Japan has little of that. Rather, the nation of Japan is running out of people, and retiring working-age people even more quickly. Looking through a window into the future, the fourth-largest city in Japan, Sapporo, already is shrinking and between 2000 and 2030 is projected to lose 15 percent of its population, or about one in seven residents.

Property buyers must adjust, say industry experts. As a result of unfolding demographic trends, TH Real Estate, in its May Think Japan report, suggests, “For the [Japanese] real estate sector … fundamentals will continue to support only stable real estate rents at best (ignoring cycles).”


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