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Home > Statistics > Housing and Land Survey > Explanation of Terms of the 2008 Survey > 1. Dwelling-related Terms

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Housing and Land Survey

1. Dwelling-related Terms

Dwellings

A dwelling is defined as a permanent building or structurally separated part thereof, such as a detached house or unit of an apartment building that, by the way it has been built or altered, is intended for habitation by one household.
A structurally separated part should be completely partitioned with fixed concrete or wooden walls.
A dwelling for habitation by one household must satisfy the following four requisites with respect to facilities.
(1) At least one room;
(2) A sink for cooking for exclusive use;
(3) A toilet for exclusive used; and
(Even if (2) and (3) are for joint use, both should be located to permit use at any time and accessed without passing through other households.)
(4) An entrance for exclusive use.
(This may be a direct access to the street or access to a hallway that occupants and visitors can use.)

Provided that the above requisites are satisfied, dwellings are considered as such even if not usually occupied
Dwellings not usually occupied are referred to as dwellings without occupying households and were classified as follows:

Dwellings without Occupying Households

Dwellings without Occupying Households

Dwellings with Temporary Occupants Only

Dwellings, which have no usual resident, but are used only in the daytime or used by several persons on a rotating basis.

Vacant dwellings

As Second Dwellings

Villas:

  Dwellings where no household usually lives and which are used as vacation houses for spending weekends or holidays or as summer/winter resorts for recreation, etc.

Others

  Houses which are used occasionally, such as for staying overnight after overtime work late at night.

For Rent

  Vacant dwellings for rent whether newly built or not.

For Sale

  Vacant dwellings for sale whether newly built or not.

Others

  Dwellings other than those mentioned above. Dwellings included in this category are those not inhabited for a long time due to transference or hospitalization or those to be destroyed for the purpose of rebuilding.

Under Construction

Dwellings whose framework has been built, but construction has not been completed. Ferroconcrete buildings are included in this category if the outer walls have been built.
A dwelling in which the internal finishing work has not yet been completed is classified as "Vacant."
Dwellings under construction are considered complete dwellings if already inhabited by a household.

Occupied Buildings Other than Dwelling

Buildings other than dwellings were included in this survey if they were inhabited. The following buildings were included in this category:
(1) Worker dormitories built or designed for habitation by a group of single persons with separate budgets.
(2) School dormitories built or designed for habitation by a group of students with separate budgets.
(3) Hotels, motels or inns built or arranged for tourists or persons staying temporarily.
(4) Boarding houses or other occupied buildings built temporarily and not converted for human habitation, such as hospitals, workshops, offices and construction camps.

"Living" or "inhabiting" in this survey means that a person is usually living in the building in question, that is,living or intending to live there for more than three months as of the survey date.

Type of Dwelling

Dwellings were classified into the following two categories according to use:

Used Exclusively for Living

Dwellings constructed or converted only for human habitation and include no facilities for business purposes, such as a stores, workshops and offices.

Used Also for Commerce or Other Purposes

Dwellings consisting of living quarters and other facilities such as stores, restaurants, barbershops, and docter's offices, as well as earth floors, workplaces and barns for agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishely and cultivation.

Type of Building

Dwellings were classified in the following way according to how the buildings concerned were built.

Detached Houses

Buildings consisting of a dwelling unit.

Tenement-Houses

Buildings consisting of two or more dwelling units connected by walls, but with each having an independent entrance to the street. Terrace houses are also included in this category.

Apartments

Buildings consisting of two or more dwelling units for which corridor, staircases and other common areas are jointly used. Two or more dwellings built one above the other are also included in this category. Building with stores on the first floor and two or more dwellings above them also fall under this category.

Others

Dwellings other than those mentioned above. A part of a factory or office classified as dwelling quarters is included in this category.

Stories of Building

The number of stories of a building above the ground. Mezzanines, garrets and basements are not included in this category.

Construction Material

Buildings were classified in the following way according to their construction material. When two or more materials are used, the material predominant in terms of floor space is chosen for the classification.

Construction Material

Wooden (excluding wooden and fireproofed

Buildings, whose main frames, including pillars and beams, are made of wood. This category does not included fireproofed wooden buildings.

Wooden and Fireproofed

Buildings whose main frames including pillars and beams are made of wood, and whose roofs and outer walls are covered with mortar, siding boards, zinc sheet or other fireproof material.

Reinforced steel-flamed concrete

Buildings whose main frames are made of ferroconcrete or steel ferroconcrete.

Steel-framed

Buildings whose main fremes such as pillars and beams are made of iron.

Others

Buildings other than those mentioned above, such as those having walls made of concrete blocks or bricks.

Year of Construction

The year of construction of all occupied houses.
If a house was extended or renovated, the respondent was asked to specify the year of construction of the original house. However, if new floor space was more than half the total floor space of the house after extension or renovation, the respondent was asked to indicate the year of the extension or renovation.

Tenure of Dwelling

The tenure of dwelling and occupied buildings other than a dwelling was classified as follows:

Tenure of Dwelling

Occupied Dwellings

Owned Houses

  Dwellings which are owned by the households occupying them. Also included here are newly constructed or recently purchased dwellings that have yet to be registered at a registration office, and those being purchased in installments, for which loan payments have yet to be completed.

Rented Houses Owned by Local Government

  Rented houses which are owned and administrated by the prefectural or municipal government and not included under issued houses.

Rented Houses Owned by Urban Renaissance Agency (Former Public Corporation)

  Rented houses which are owned by the Urban Renaissance Agency (former Public Corporation) or housing corporations, managed by a prefectural or cities, wards, towns government, and not included under issued houses. These include dwellings generally called "UR rented houses," "Public Corporation houses" and similar.
  Also included in this category are rented houses operated by the Employment Promotion Projects Corporation for those who relocate in order to obtain new jobs.

Rented Houses Owned Privately

  Rented houses, which are not owned by the national government, prefectures, cities, wards, towns, the Urban Renaissance Agency (former public corporation) or public enterprises, and not included under issued houses.

Issued Houses

  Dwellings which are owned or administered by private companies, public bodies, etc. and rented to their employees or officials in order to meet their work needs or issued as a part of salary and wages regardless of rent being paid. (This includes ordinary houses rented by companies and occupied by their employees.)

Occupied Building Other than Dwelling

Owned

  Cases where the household owns all or part of an occupied building other than a dwelling, such as factory or office.

Rented

  Cases where the household rents all or part of an occupied building other than a dwelling, such as a factory or office.

Type of Kitchen

The type of the kitchen were classified as follows:

(1) Kitchen used only for cooking
Kitchen used only for cooking and separated from other rooms

(2) Kitchen also used as a dining room
Kitchen is not separated from a dining room

(3) Kitchen also used as a dining room and a living room
Kitchen not separated from a dining room and a living room

(4) Other kitchen also used for other purposes
For instance, a kitchen not separated from an entrance hall is included in this category.

(5) Kitchen jointly used with other households
Kitchen jointly used with other households living in apartments, excluding the kitchen used with lodging households

Situation of Facilities

1. Kitchens were categorized as Used Exclusively and Used Jointly as follows:

Used Exclusively

  Refers to where the kitcen is used only by the occupying household. When shared by the principal and occupying households, the kitchen is also regarded as "exclusively used".

Used Jointly

  Kitchen shared with other households.

2.Toilet,bathroom and lavatory were categorized as follos:

Flush Toilet

  With flush toilet: A toilet connected to a public sewer, septic tank or cesspool.

  Without flush toilet

Western-style toilet

  With western-style toilet:Those converted from Japanese-style toilets by simply installing Western-style seats are also included here.

  Without western-style toilet

Bathroom

  With bathroom: Applies even if there is only a shower room in the premises.

  Without bathroom:Applies when there is no bathroom, even if there is a bathtub on the premises.

Lavatory

  With lavatory: Applies when there is equipment that supplies water exclusively for washing the face and  hands.

  Without lavatory

Number of Dwelling Rooms and Number of Tatami Units of Dwelling Rooms

Number of Dwelling Rooms

Dwelling rooms include living rooms, bedrooms, drawing rooms, studies and dining rooms etc. Entrance halls, kitchens, kitchenettes, toilet rooms, bathrooms, corridor, earth floors, as well as shops, offices and other rooms used for professional or business purposes are not counted as dwelling rooms.
Kitchens with a dining space whose floor space, excluding the space of the sink, kitchen, table, etc. is 5 square meters or more were included in the number of dwelling rooms. Rooms occupied by lodging households were also included in the number of rooms.

Number of Tatami Units of Dwelling rooms

The total space of rooms mentioned above was measured in terms of the number of tatami units. A  tatami unit is a Japanese floor mat, rectangular in shape and measures 90 centimters by 180 centimters. Two  tatami units are equivalent to 3.3 square meters.

Area of Floor Space

The area of floor space refers to the total floor space covering the entrance, kitchen, toilet, bathroom, corridor, earth floor, closets, etc. and rooms used for professional or business purposes, such as stores and offices, as well as dwelling rooms. However, storehouses and garages as well as warehouses, workshops, etc. for a business located separate from the main part of the dwelling were not included in the floor area.
In the case of apartments, such jointly used areas as passageways, kitchens and toilets were also excluded.

Facilities for Aged Persons, etc.

Housing in which people live was categorized as follows, using the criteria of whether there were certain facilities for aged persons, etc.

Equipped with Facilities for Aged Persons, etc.

Equipped With Railing

Buildings equipped with safety railing to prevent the aged persons, etc. from falling down due to a loss of balance.
Also in housing equipped with railing, the places equipped with railing were claasified as follows:

Equipped with Railing

Easy-to-step-in Bathtub

  The height of the bathtub from the bathroom floor is low enough for the aged persons, etc. to step over. Bathtubs 30 to 50 centimeters in height were considered to be easy-to-step-in tubs.

Passage Wide Enough for Wheelchairs

  Housing where the corridors or entrances to rooms are at least 80 centimeters wide.

Without Steps Indoor

  Housing designed without differences in level so that aged persons, etc. do not trip and fall. However, these differences in level do not include doorsteps and stairs.

Possible to move with a Wheelchair from the street to entrance

  Housing where there is no difference in level or obstacle so that a person in a wheelchair can pass safely without assistance from the adjacent road to the entrance.
  This includes cases where a gentle slope is provided to facilitate wheelchair passage in places where there is a large difference in level.

Without Facilities for Aged Persons, etc.

Situation of Fire Protection Fixtures

The situations regarding fire prevention fixtures (residential fire alarms) were classified as follows:

Equipped With Fire Prevention Fixtures

Where facilities which detect fires automatically by heat, smoke or flames, and dispatch fire signals or fire warning signals to fire extinguishing facilities, or give fire warnings (including simple fire alarm equipment available in the market). However, those facilities located in the common areas of apartments, etc. (and not in each dwelling) are not counted here.
In case dwellings are equipped with fire prevention fixtures, the places where these smoke detectors are fixed were classified as follows:
(1) Bathroom
(2) Kitchen
(3) Stairs
(4) Corridor
(5) Other

Not Equipped With Fire Prevention Fixtures

Energy-saving Equipment, etc.

Energy-saving facilities etc. were listed as follows:

Water Heating Unit Utilizing Solar Energy

Systems that heat water on the roof by solar energy and distribute the heated water to bathrooms and kitchens. Other systems that heat the whole dwelling by circulating air warmed by solar energy in the garret under the floor by fan are also included here.

Generator Utilizing Solar Energy

Systems which collect sunlight by using a condensing board on the roof, and convert it into electricity.

Double-Sash Window or Double-Glass Window

Double-Sash

  Those windows which have two (or three) inner and outer sashes. In case the inner sash is a Japanese-style Shoji sliding paper window, that window is not included here.

Double-Glass Window

Those windows which combine multiple sheets of glass, and provide insulation by creating air space between the glass panes.
Dwellings were classified into three types, depending on the number of Double-Glass Windows.
(1)All windows
(2)Some windows
(3)No windows

Situation of Dilapidation

The situations regarding dilapidation of the main frame of the dwelling such as walls, pillars, floors, beams, roofs, etc., as well as other parts of the dwelling were classified as follows:

Dilapidation Exists:

Where there is any defect in the main frame or other part of the dwelling. For example, cases where part of the walls or the building's foundation is cracked, some roofing tiles are unfixed, or a rainwater gutter is damaged and unfixed to part of the eaves, etc.

Dilapidation Does Not Exist:

There is no damage to the main frame or other part of the building.

Situation of Elevators

With regard to apartments, the situations regarding elevators were classified as follows:

Equipped With Elevator

Part of the Elevator Door is Fitted With Glass

Where inside the elevator cage is visible when the door is closed.

Equipped With Security Camera

Where a security camera is installed inside the elevator cage. Cases of a dummy camera (fake camera) are included here.

Not Equipped With These Facilities

Where the above-mentioned facilities are not installed.

Not Equipped With Elevator

Whether or Not Apartments Are Designed to Accommodate Aged Persons

"Apartments" were classified as those designed to accommodate aged persons or those not so designed, as follows:

Designed to Accommodate Aged Persons

Apartments which are structured so that persons in wheelchairs can pass safely and without assistance from the adjacent road to the entrance of the dwelling, and which largely fulfill the following three conditions:

(1) In case there is a large difference in level between the road and inside the building, a gentle slope is provided to facilitate wheelchair passage.

(2) The elevator cage entrance is at least 80 centimeters wide and the call buttons at the entrance and on the car operating panel in the elevator cage are designed with consideration given to passengers in wheelchairs.

(3) There is no difference in the level of corridors for public use, and the corridors are at least 140 centimeters wide.

Not Designed to Accommodate Aged Persons

Whether Doors Are Equipped With Automatic Locks

Apartments were classified as those equipped with and those not equipped with automatic locks, as follows:

Equipped With Automatic Locks

The building has a public entrance, the door of which cannot be unlocked from outside without using a key, password or similar means, or which must be unlocked by a resident or another person from inside the building.

Not Equipped With Automatic Lock

Purchase, Construction, Reconstruction, etc. of Dwelings

Owned houses inhabited at the time of the survey were classified into the following groups according to the means of obtaining the houses.

Purchase Newly Built Houses

From Urban Renaissance Agency (Former Public Corporation):

  This refers to cases where the respondent purchased a newly constructed, ready-built house or a house and lot subdivided from a larger lot from the Urban Renaissance Agency (former Public Corporation), or from a housing supply corporation, housing association or development corporation of a prefecture or municipality.

From Private Companies:

  This refers to cases where the respondent purchased a newly conatructed, ready-built house or a house and lot subdivided from a larger lot from a private real estate company, etc.

Purchase Used Houses

  This refers to cases where the resident purchased a used house previously inhabited by another household or a house having been rented from others.

Newly built(excluding rebuilt)

  This refers to cases where the resident has constructed a newly acquired house on new ground or ground where a building other than a dwelling had been constructed and subsequently removed for the purpose of new construction.

Rebuilt

  This refers to cases where a new house was built in the same place or on the same ground occupied by the previously owned house.

Acquired by Inheritance or Grant

  This refers to cases where the resident obtained a house from their parents, etc. by inheritance or grant.

Others

  This refers to cases other than those mentioned above (e.g., where buildings were converted into dwellings).

Extended or Renovated, etc.

Inquiries were made to the owners of houses about whether any extended or renovated facilities had been attempted since January 2004 (except for construction and reconstruction), with the replies classified as follows:

Extended or Renovated, etc.

Extended or Changed Room Layout

  Work for enlarging dwelling rooms, constructing detached buildings or remodeling corridors and/or ambries into dwelling rooms, etc.

Renovated Kitchen, Toilet, Bathroom, Lavatory

  Work for repairing laid pipe or leaking running water pipes due to aging, remodeling a Japanese-style toilet into a Western-style one, or remodeling a vault toilet into a flush toilet, etc.

Renovated Interior Parts such as Ceiling, Walls, Floor

  Work for replacing wallpaper or flooring, changing from tatami to flooring, installing a floor heating facility, replacing the fixtures of interior parts (including toilet, kitchen, bathroom and lavatory), and only excluding the replacement of curtains and/or blinds.

Renovated Roof, Exterior Walls, etc.

  Work for retiling or repainting roofs, repairing leaking roofs, the floors of balconies (serving as the roofs of lower stories),replacing or repainting exterior walls, repairing concrete walls, repairing rainwater gutters, etc.

Reinforced Walls, Pillars, Foundation, etc.

  Work for newly constructing or installing walls, installing diagonal braces, reinforcing foundation, reinforcing pillars and beams with cramp irons, etc.

Installed Insulation or Condensation Proofing on Windows, Walls, etc.

  Work for changing windows from single- to double-sash windows or from single- to double-glass windows, infusing heat insulating agent or buffeting urethane foam on walls and/or ceilings.

Other Work

  Work other than mentioned above, such as constructing or repairing verandas, fixing handrails and electric wiring (to add plug outlets and/or switches).

Not Extended or Renovated, etc.

In case the houses or dwelling rooms were extended or renovated for use as a store or an office, or to be rented to another household, such work is regarded as "Not extended or renovated".

Situation of Renovating of Facilities for Aged Persons, etc.

With regard to owned houses, the situations regarding whether any renovating of facilities for aged persons, etc. had been attempted since January 2004 were classified as shown below.
This included remodeling already done for the future, even if there were no aged persons at present.

Renovating for Aged Persons, etc.

Stairs and Corridors with Railing

  Addition of handrails to staircases and corridors.

Slopes in the Residence

  Installation of slopes to eliminate slight rises in floor level.

Renovating of Bathroom

  Converting a bathtub to an inlaid one, or placing handrails in the bathroom.

Renovating of Toilet

  Converting a Japanese-style toilet seat to a Western-style one, installing a warm-water washlet toilet seat, etc.

Others

  Any other types of renovating.

No Renovating for Aged Persons, etc.

Situation of Seismic Diagnosis of Dwellings

  With regard to owned houses, the situations regarding whether seismic diagnosis had been conducted by a registered architect of the builder to check safety in case of earthquakes were classified as follows:

Seismic Diagnosis Had Been Conducted

  (1)Earthquake resistance had been secured

  (2)Earthquake resistance had not been secured.

Seismic Diagnosis Had Not Been Conducted

Situation of Earthquake-Resistant Renovating for Houses

With regard to owned houses, the situations regarding whether any earthquake-resistant renovating work was done on the houses were classified as follows:

Renovated to Make It Earthquake-Resistant

Newly-Built or Reinforced Wall

  Refers to the case where windows are replaced by walls in order to resist horizontal tremors.

Installation of Diagonal Bracing

  Refers to the case where diagonal braces are placed between pillars in order to resist horizontal tremors.

Reinforcement of Foundation

  Refers to the case where a foundation made of pebbles has been changed to one made of concrete, or the foundation has been reinforced into a ferroconcrete one.

Reinforcement by Bolts

  Refers to the case where pillars and beams or pillars and foundations are connected using cramp irons in order to alleviate sway and prevent such frame components as pillars from falling or drifting.

Others

  Improvements other than stated above (e.g., renewal of rotten timber or that damaged by termites), and replacement of a heavy tile roof with one of lighter metallic plates to reduce weight of the building.

Not Renovated for Earthquake Resistance

Situation of Housing Remodeling

The situations regarding whether owned houses were remodeled were classified as follows:


Housing Remodeling Was Made

Cases which fall under any of the above-mentioned "Extended or Renovated," "Renovating for Aged Persons, etc." and "Renovated to Make It Earthquake-Resistant"


Housing Remodeling Was Not Made

Tenure of the Site

The tenure of the site was classified into the following categories:
Tenure of the Site

Owned Site

Refers to the case where a member of the household living in the dwelling owns the land of the dwelling site. It does not matter whether it has been registered or loan payments have been completed.
This also refers to the case where the land belongs to the parents of household members or where the land is shared by other households who live in the same apartment or tenement house.

Rented Site

This refers to cases where a person other than a household member is the owner of the site.

General Leasehold

  All types of lease other than "fixed-term leasehold, etc." mentioned below.

Fixed-Term Leasehold, etc.

  One of the leases established in August 1992, which falls under one of the following.

    (1)A lease with a term of fifty years or more, and accompanied by the following special contract (i.e., fixed-term leasehold): (i) No renewal of the contract can be made and (ii) no request can be made to the owner of the land to purchase the housing (building) on the rented site.

    (2)A lease with a term of thirty years or more, and accompanied by a special contract that the lease will be terminated after thirty years or more when the owner of the land purchases the housing (building) on the rented site. (i.e., leasehold with special contract for transfer of building)

Others

  Cases where a household member or members live in an apartment house, detached house or tenement house where there is neither ownership nor a lease for the site.

Site Area

This applies to households dwelling on "owned land" or "rented land," or in "detached houses" or "tenement-houses" on sites other than "owned land" or "rented land."
The area of the site means the land area on which dwelling houses and attached buildings are built, regardless of registration regarding the type of land made at the registration office.
In cases where factories, offices, etc. were built on the same site area as the dwelling, the site area of factories, offices, etc. is excluded.
For farm households, the area of such attached buildings on the premises as workshops and barns was included, while the area used as fields was excluded regardless of registration regarding the type of land.
In cases of apartment houses or tenement houses, the site area for each dwelling unit (site for divisional ownership) was reported instead of the site area for the entire building.

Type of Transfer of Site

Concerning "owned site" and "rented site," the category was determined according to whom the site was purchased or rented from.

From Central or Local Government

Purchase or lease of a site owned by central or local government.

From Urban Renaissance Agency (Former Public Corporation)

Purchase or lease of a site owned by the Urban Renaissance Agency (former Public Corporation), or from a housing supply corporation, housing association or development corporation of a prefecture or municipality.

From Corporation such as a Companies

Purchase or lease of a site owned by a private company.

From an Individual

Purchase or lease of a site owned by an individual.

By Inheritance or Grant

Acquisition of a site by inheritance or grant.

Others

Other than the above-mentioned cases, purchase or lease as an equivalent exchange or from organizations other than corporations.

Year of Acquisition of Site

This refers to the year when the respondent purchased, rented, donated or inherited the ground for the building site.
In cases where a rented site was purchased, the year of purchase was investigated.

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