According to The Australian Financial Review, Australia’s senior property leaders have warned that another housing crisis is being “baked in” with state and local government planning bottlenecks choking the supply of new homes and putting renewed pressure on affordability as population growth recovers.
While housing commencements surged 25 per cent to 229,000 last year, courtesy of the Homebuilder stimulus, the balance is already swinging back the other way, with new housing supply squeezed by planning restrictions and exacerbated by delays caused by materials and labour shortages.
As migration gradually returns to its pre-pandemic levels, the number of households will soon exceed the number of homes available, according to analysis by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation. That deficit in accommodation needed will emerge by 2025. The number of households exceeding new supply is forecast to rise to a cumulative 163,400 homes by 2032.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s largest oil distributor is plugging into the electric vehicle charging business as it plans to start building a vast charging network across the country.
ENEOS Holdings Inc. announced that it acquired the rights from electronics firm NEC Corp. to operate about 4,600 EV chargers at commercial facilities.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese entrepreneur is committed to rendering his enterprise here “friendly” to all relevant parties including employees and sustainable as a “good company.”
“The current increased interest in the SDGs (U.N. Sustainable Development Goals) should not be quickly lost just as a temporary trend,” said Mitani, 37, CEO of Mitani Sangyo Co.
Mitani Sangyo, a long-established firm handling chemicals and plastics for use in automobiles for more than 90 years, effectively abolished its mandatory retirement system for employees.
While employees at the company in the Hokuriku region listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s top Prime Market can retire at age 60, they are allowed to continue working there for additional years on an unlimited basis.
Staffers are eligible for severance allowances on two occasions: when they reach the standard retirement age of 60 and when they decide to dissolve their contracts with Mitani Sangyo on their own.
According to The Australian Financial Review, global demand for battery-powered cars is racing ahead faster than expected, Boston Consulting Group said as it brought forward sales forecasts despite concerns over shortages of batteries and charging infrastructure.
The consulting group now forecasts that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will account for one-fifth of global light vehicle sales in 2025, and 59 per cent in 2035, and that there will be more battery electric vehicles sold than any other type of light vehicle (including hybrids and petrol-fuelled cars) by 2028.
According to The Australian Financial Review, increased planting by Victorian and Queensland grain farmers has set Australia up for a third consecutive bumper harvest amid a global supply crunch that is raising fears of a food crisis.
In its 2022-23 winter crop outlook report, agri-lender Rabobank predicts this year’s planted crop area will reach a record 23.83 million hectares, up nearly 1 per cent on last year’s record and 11 per cent above the five-year average.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the cost of a new house rose by a record $76,715 in April as supply chain and labour shortages added to the costs for home builders, prompting a warning that more builders would go bankrupt, crunched between soaring prices and fixed-price home contracts.
The $76,715 average surge in cost from a year earlier lifted the average value of new homes approved over the $400,000 mark nationally for the first time and also increased the pressure on home builders committed to fixed-price contracts signed with clients before costs surged, economist Maree Kilroy said.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, the unemployment rate for April improved to a level seen before the novel coronavirus pandemic, but some hard-hit sectors were still struggling to provide jobs, statistics showed.
The internal affairs ministry on May 31 said the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 2.5 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point and the third straight month of decline.
In October 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging, Japan’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, but it has since improved steadily.
There were about 1.76 million unemployed people in April, 30,000 fewer than in March.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, the central government is planning to ramp up investment in education and skills training to attract laborers from developed industries into sectors with solid future growth prospects.
It aims to accomplish this through actions such as expanding career consultations for workers and encouraging them to get side jobs.
The move comes amid concerns that Japan is lagging behind other countries in investing in human resources development, and that workers are not moving into these areas quickly enough.
The government is seeking to boost labor productivity and make workers more aware of opportunities in these developing industries, such as the digital industry, regardless of whether they currently work for companies in those sectors.
According to The Australian Financial Review, surging power prices are driving massive interest in solar panels and batteries, according to operators in Victoria and NSW.
Households and businesses were last week warned to brace for higher power prices over the next few years after the Australian Energy Regulator approved price increases of up to 18 per cent in NSW and 12 per cent in Queensland from July 1.
Sydney-based Natural Solar sales revenue for the last 21 days is 248 per cent higher than the corresponding period for 2021, according to founder and CEO Chris Williams, and a whopping 544 per cent higher than the corresponding period in 2020.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced the release of an ultra-small electric vehicle this summer, which can be as affordable as its gasoline-powered counterparts.
The model, based on Japan’s minivehicle standard, will be available for under 1.5 million yen (US$11,719) in Tokyo, after the metropolitan government's 450,000 yen and central government's 550,000 yen subsidies for electric vehicles are applied.
Minivehicles, with engine displacements of 660 cc or less, account for nearly 40 percent of Japan’s new vehicle sales. They are mostly used over short distances such as for shopping or commuting.
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