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Housing Commodities, Context and Meaning: Transformations in Japan's Urban Condominium Sector

Richard Ronald and Yosuke Hirayama
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Richard Ronald: Research Institute for Housing, Urban amd Mobility Studies, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, r.ronald@tudelft.nl
Yosuke Hirayama: Department of Environment, Faculty of Human Development, Kobe University, 3-11 Tsurukabuto, Naka-Ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan, yosukey@kobe-u.ac.jp

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 13, 2467-2483

Abstract: Japan's condominium sector expanded rapidly along with post-war urbanisation and high-speed economic growth. However, the bursting of the bubble economy in the 1990s undermined land and housing markets. Capital losses on condominiums have been disproportionate, especially in cases of older, smaller or non-centrally located condominiums. This analysis incorporates socio-cultural elements in explaining emerging patterns of fragmentation among homeowners and property values. It illustrates relationships between the meaning of housing commodities and the context of indigenous production and consumption processes in urban Japan. The paper specifically draws upon data from interviews with Japanese homeowners to illustrate the significance of values and perceptions in the modern condominium sector and their relationship to changing socioeconomic conditions.

Date: 2006
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