Colliers International, the Toronto-based global real estate consultancy, has enhanced its presence in Japan through the launch of a wholly owned, company-branded business.
Colliers has ended its 20-year affiliation with K.K. Halifax in the Japanese market and executives believe the strategic move will serve as a basis for growth here, as well as reinforce its business more broadly across Asia.
“Japan is a strong, highly-advanced and growing market that represents an attractive growth opportunity for our business,” said Katsuji Tokita, managing director of Colliers International Japan.
“And this strategic move strengthens our operations in Asia and provides a strong platform for future growth,” he told The Canadian.
Between them, Tokita and Executive Director Hazumu Iwase have five decades of experience in Japan’s property sector, enabling their team to meet the demands of clients in the areas of tenant representation, corporate solutions, project management, capital markets and investment services, as well as valuation and advisory services. The company serves the needs of both local and international clients.
The immediate future for both Colliers and the property sector here look extremely positive, the company believes.
“The property market in Japan has seen growth over the last 36 months and we see a stabilization approaching with significant new supply between 2018 and 2020,” Tokita said.
“There has been steady demand for new supply,” he added. “Rents have increased on average, although top-level rents remain stable. Vacancies remain low, however there is a large amount of pending vacancies in existing buildings.”
The Rugby World Cup on the horizon in 2019, followed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games mean that certain property sectors are certain to do well in the immediate future.
“The hotel and short-term stay sector should benefit most from the positive growth in tourism and the Olympic Games,” Tokita said, pointing out that Japan is on target to see 40 million international visitors in 2020, the year Tokyo hosts the Games, and a remarkable 60 million in 2030.
Other sectors are equally robust, he said, adding, “The commercial leasing market is likely to reach a point of parity in 2018 and recalibrate with the new supply between 2018 and 2020.”
Colliers International originated in Australia in September 1976. It was the result of an amalgamation of three property service firms and initially known as the Collier Group. The name Colliers International Pty Ltd was registered on May 18, 1979.
In the mid-1980s, a number of American and Canadian property firms joined Colliers and, by 1986, its operations had spread to 20 markets. By the turn of the decade, it had begun to enter central Europe and South America.
The oldest company that has joined the alliance can trace its history back to 1898, when Macaulay Nicolls was founded in Vancouver as a real estate, property management and insurance agency. At the time, there were a remarkable 50 real estate companies registered in the two-year-old city and founder JP Nicolls opened bank account number 8 with the Royal Bank of Canada.
The property market in Japan has seen growth over the last 36 months.
Macaulay Nicolls prospered over the following decades and was the only Vancouver-based real estate firm to survive the speculative property rush in the early part of last century, largely thanks to a philosophy of conservative financial management and a diversification of its services, including into maritime insurance.
Today, Colliers International has more than 15,000 employees in over 500 offices in 68 countries, with annual revenues exceeding C$2.6 billion.
It is now in the middle of an aggressive, five-year plan to expand the company, with the Japan operations a key part of that strategy.
“Colliers International had another record year in 2016,” said Tokita.” These results demonstrate excellent year-over-year growth and represent another important step forward in our ambitious five-year plan to double the size of Colliers by 2020.
“We are on track to delivering Our Enterprise Plan 2020, achieving growth through leading in major markets, enhancing productivity, leading and innovating with marketing, being experts, delivering memorable service and growing internally and through acquisition,” he added. “Our strategic move to commence company-owned operations in Japan is an illustration of Our Enterprise Plan 2020 in action.”