Houses in Japan rapidly depreciate like consumer durable goods – cars, fridges, golf clubs, etc. After 15 years, a home typically loses all value and is demolished on average just 30 years after being built. And so, despite a shrinking population, house building remains steady. 87% of Japan’s home sales are new homes (compared with only 11-34% in Western countries). This puts the total number of new houses built in Japan on par with the US, despite having only a third of the population. This begs the question: why don’t the Japanese value their old homes?