A new mode of housing tenure in Japan, rental housing with fixed rental terms, was introduced in March 2000 with the revision of the Japanese Tenant Protection Law. This paper examines the implications of this new system by analyzing the determinants of the choices by households among the three types of housing tenure in Japan: owned housing, general rental housing, and rental housing with fixed rental terms, and calculates the estimated compensating variation. Our micro-data is based on the three waves of Japanese household longitudinal data (Keio Household Panel Survey, KHPS) covering all of Japan. The difference between general rental housing and rental housing with fixed rental terms is reflected in the length of the contract term and the level of rent. We carefully eliminate potential sample selection bias introduced to the conditional logit housing tenure choice model through the estimation of the hedonic price regression of each housing tenure alternative. We find that households with a smaller number of family members, those who moved from outside the local housing market, those headed by an unmarried household head, and those with plans to own a house in the near future tend to select rental housing with fixed rental terms. The estimated mean compensating variation by introducing rental housing with fixed rental terms for all households selecting that tenure is 1,205 JPY per month or 1.96% of their monthly rent. Moreover, younger and/or lower income households derived the greatest benefit from the revised law in the form of lower rents.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 3, 2007
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