|Budget Amount *help
¥3,900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥3,900,000)
Fiscal Year 2004: ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
Fiscal Year 2003: ¥600,000 (Direct Cost: ¥600,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥1,300,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,300,000)
This study seeks to examine ways to extend the lifespan of Japanese homes by examining attitudes of homeowners in Japan and the U.S. through two comparative studies.
The target areas of the survey were a district of Los Angeles, and Des Moines, Iowa in the U.S, Osaka and Shiga prefectures in Japan. The years of the survey were 2000,2001,2003.
In the U.S, 75 percent of American respondents purchased existing houses. It is common for Americans to buy and sell their houses not only to live in but also as an investment. The historic value of an old house is an important factor in the purchase. Older houses are considered attractive because of such factors as natural hard wood floors, skillful carpenter work and traditional design. Since existing house are still highly valued, the owner expects a good return on his investment.
Meanwhile in Japan, 87 percent of Japanese purchased a new house. Japanese who buy existing houses tend to see the purchase merely as temporary home, a stepping stone to
a next house. People with this "temporary home" outlook normally have negative views of the quality of existing houses. Japanese who consider purchasing an existing house do not feel reassured about its safety and functionality due to lack of available information and tend to avoid existing houses. Japanese, on the other hand, want to live permanently at the same address and rebuild their house rather than try to sell it. Rebuilding is a remarkable character of the Japanese.
Americans take for granted the idea of reselling a house, and as a consequence show strong interest in the commercial value of housing. From the time a person purchases a house he or she already takes into account the scenario of reselling it, which makes the advance inspection of the house before purchase a very common practice. In contrast, Japanese are concerned about the safety and functionality and do not fully trust the assessment of realtors. There is a strong correlation between the care and maintenance put on one's present home and the asset value the owners think it is worth.
Yearly depreciation is taken for granted in Japan. Thus, a typical urban house is rebuilt after only 20-30 years, which is about one-fourth the lifetime of a house in the U.S. or in rural Japan. But the average owner expects to live in their present house for about 40 years. It the U.S., the average lifetime of a house is more than twice that of Japan.
The reason which Japanese view existing homes as "temporary houses" is mainly due to the lack of information on homes as commodities. In the U.S., the transparency of the real estate market is secured : there is a system that the buyer of an existing house is treated fairly. In Japan, there is a low priority in collecting information on the safety and reliability of the home. A correlation has been recognized between the awareness of "a temporary house" and the fear of an existing house. Moreover, Japanese don't put a high priority on the reliability of the functions in one's own house. That has diminished the impetus for information. As the result, more value is place on occupying one home permanently than competing in the existing house market. Less