Hong Kong’s Weave Living is expanding into Japan, according to an announcement on Tuesday, with the Warburg Pincus-backed accommodation specialist announcing the hire of Allianz Real Estate’s former Japan country head to lead its business in Asia’s largest rental housing market.
Daisuke Noguchi, who had served as head of Japan for Allianz Real Estate (now PIMCO Prime Real Estate) until December of last year and specialises in residential investments, is now country head for Weave Living as the company enters its third Asian market.
“Our proposition has always been to be the go-to accommodation solution for residents in large urban centres, and we view Japan as a natural extension of the Weave brand given the deep, institutional rental housing market in the country,” said Weave founder and group chief executive Sachin Doshi. He added that, “We have already made several key hires in addition to Noguchi-san, and I anticipate Japan will become one of our largest markets by AUM over the next few years.”
With Noguchi now one of four Weave team members on the ground in Tokyo, Weave expects to be “very busy in Japan during the second half of this year,” Doshi told Mingtiandi, with the addition of a third market set to add to the more than $2 billion in assets that Weave already has under management after establishing itself in Hong Kong and Singapore.
“I am thrilled to be joining Weave Living as the company embarks on the rapid expansion of its portfolio of rental accommodation options in Japan,” Noguchi said. “The Japanese market offers a substantial opportunity for the company to bring its hassle-free city living offering to the country. I believe Weave Living’s well-established, end-to-end business model will be compelling for investors as they continue to seek attractive investment opportunities in the region’s deepest rental housing market.”
Before joining Allianz in May 2021, Noguchi had spent more than four years with JP Morgan Asset Management in Tokyo as head of acquisitions, and also served nearly eight years with Mitsubishi, while also spending stints with SMBC Nikko Securities, LaSalle Investment Management and GE Real Estate.
During his 27-year career Noguchi has been involved in over $2.5 billion in residential investments, with Allianz Real Estate having been one of the leading foreign investors in Japanese rental apartments during his time there.
“I am excited to have Noguchi-san join our team and confident that his wealth of experience in the Japanese real estate market, along with his significant proprietary network will ensure our continued ability to offer scaleable investment opportunities to investors and quality accommodation options in prime locations for today’s discerning tenants,” Doshi said.
With Japan having arguably Asia’s most mature financial market at the same time that the country continues to enjoy interest rates, Weave’s management also sees the new addition to its team helping to expand the company’s reach after it previously established partnerships with LaSalle Investment Management, Angelo Gordon and PGIM Real Estate for projects in Hong Kong.
“We have the opportunity to combine Weave’s brand DNA with the investor relationships and sourcing networks which Noguchi has built through his career, as well as with our existing capital partners, to rapidly grow our business in the country,” Doshi told Mingtiandi.
Tokyo, Osaka and Beyond
Having started out in Hong Kong in 2017 offering compact housing with shared amenities for young professionals, Weave has since added additional products lines for corporate clients and young families, all with an emphasis on uniform service quality and attractive amenities. Now the company sees an opportunity to export this approach to a new market.
“We see an enormous opportunity for us to bring a new perspective to how the rental housing market in Japan has been traditionally run, and plan to introduce all three of our consumer-facing brands to the local market, starting with Tokyo and Osaka,” Doshi said. Building on its experience acquiring, renovating and operating rental housing projects in Hong Kong and Singapore, Weave plans to build a vertically integrated rental housing business in Japan and will build both its team and it portfolio in the country in the coming months, he added.
Having already fully leased its first project in Singapore after opening that 65-unit property in March, Doshi sees demand for chains of professionally managed rental apartments.
“There are many ways in which the Japanese housing market is still very traditional,” Doshi said, noting that “for a market which has become highly institutionalised, the leasing experience, product design and brand consistency in the rental residential sector have not evolved at the same pace.”
With Weave also ready to expand its portfolio in Hong Kong and Singapore over the next 12 months, Doshi sees offering an alternative to ‘cookie cutter’ approaches to project design and standardisation of asset quality and service setting up a major expansion in the company’s profile.
“Japan could end up being our largest market in Asia by assets under management,” Doshi said, with the company also planning to enter additional markets in Asia Pacific in the next 12 months, according to its statement.