Spurred by the strength of the yen, Japanese billionaire Akira Mori is planning a 100 billion yen — $1.2 billion — prime real estate shopping spree in major world markets, including New York, London and Tokyo, Bloomberg News reported. The plan represents the first investment of this scale by Mori since 2008.
The Mori Trust Co. is specifically looking for office towers, and developments that are energy efficient, equipped with disaster-prevention systems and able to hold value through market downturns. According to Mori, New York offers just this sort of investment opportunity.
“Property in a desirable location is good because it tends to be the last to drop in value when the market is bad,” Mori said, referring to properties in New York City. “Cheap properties tend to be the first to decline and last to recover.” Mori added that he may seek partnerships with other investors within New York, London and Tokyo.
The yen has strengthened 35 percent against the dollar in the past five years and is trading at approximately 81.9 yen per dollar today in Tokyo.
“This is the perfect timing to invest,” Mori, said in an interview in Tokyo. “We have continued to construct new buildings, but for the acquisition of buildings, our plan would be the first since Lehman went bankrupt.” [Bloomberg] —Christopher Cameron