Tokyo’s office market continues to strengthen

In August, the office vacancy rate in Tokyo’s five central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) was 4.72%, down 0.17 points from the previous month and down 1.30 points from last year. This is the lowest vacancy rate seen since December 2008. Shibuya had the lowest vacancy of 2.22%, down 0.05 points from July and down 1.79 points from last year.

With vacancy rates below the 5% level said to indicate a healthy balance between demand and supply, rents continue to increase. The average monthly office rent was 17,490 Yen per Tsubo (5,300 Yen/sqm), up 0.01% from the previous month and up 4.5% from last year. This is the 20th month in a row to see a month-on-month increase.

In Shibuya, the average monthly rent was 19,456 Yen/Tsubo (5,895 Yen/sqm), up 1.5% from the previous month and up 11.1% from last year.

Vacancy rates were down across all major cities in August:

  • Tokyo: 4.72% (-0.17 points from July; -1.30 points from Aug. 2014)
  • Osaka: 8.29% (-0.04 points; -0.07 points)
  • Nagoya: 6.62% (-0.08 points; -1.54 points)
  • Sapporo: 5.99% (-0.35 points; -2.21 points)
  • Sendai: 10.16% (-0.26 points; -0.81 points)
  • Yokohama: 7.34% (-0.23 points; -1.71 points)
  • Fukuoka: 6.71% (-0.05 points; -1.72 points)

Total office space in Japan reaches 110 million sqm

According to the Japan Real Estate Institute, there was 110 million sqm (1.185 billion sq ft) of office space in 8,609 buildings across Japan as of January 2015. Of that, 1.36 million sqm (14.6 million sq ft) was added in 71 new buildings constructed in 2014. This is down from 1.71 million sqm of new office space built in 2013.

Meanwhile, 96 buildings containing 840,000 sqm (9 million sq ft) were demolished in 2014.

Of the total stock, 30.2 million sqm (325 million sq ft), or 27% of the total, is in buildings built before 1981 to the older earthquake codes. Fukuoka City had the highest ratio with 41% of office space in pre-1981 buildings, followed by Sapporo (40%), Kyoto (38%) and Osaka (34%).

The Institute’s survey only covers commercial buildings with a total floor area of over 3,000 sqm in urban cities.

Sources:
The Nikkei Shimbun, September 10, 2015.
Japan Real Estate Institute, September 8, 2015.
Miki Shoji Office Report, September 2015.

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