A 2-Bedroom designer-style home with study and rooftop terrace is currently listed for sale in the Minamiazabu neighbourhood in central Tokyo.
The 3-storey concrete house was built in 1994, and later given a contemporary makeover by the current owner. Extra attention was paid to the rooftop which was converted by Vacation Veranda, Tokyo-based design firm specialising in outdoor spaces, into an entertaining deck with two seating areas and a full-sized barbecue. Located at about the height of the 4th floor, this is a sunny spot which offers views of Tokyo Tower.
The 1st floor has a full bathroom, toilet, and a study or home office which can also be accessed directly from the garage. The garage is secure with an automatic shutter door, and offers some additional space at the rear for bicycles.
The living area and kitchen is on the second floor, along with a second toilet. The open-plan kitchen includes an island counter, gas cooktop, wall-mounted oven, and a laundry space hidden around the corner.
The 3rd floor has the master bedroom and second bedroom with walk-in closet. Both bedrooms look out to an internal courtyard which provides access to the rooftop deck upstairs.
The land is zoned as a Category I Mid/High-Rise Oriented Residential Zone. This zone is mainly designated for medium to high rise residential buildings. In addition to hospital and university buildings, the permitted buildings include certain shops and office buildings with a floor area of up to 1,500m2 to provide conveniences for the local community.
The house fronts onto a 5.45 meter wide public road. Road width is an important factor to consider when buying a house or land. It is quite normal to see houses located alongside narrow roads with widths of 4 meters or less. A road of 5 ~ 6 meters is particularly desirable because it is not too narrow, but also not wide enough that it would attract a lot of passing traffic. In many cases a wider road also means that a larger house can be built, since floor area ratios can be dependent on the width of the road.
For this land, the maximum floor area ratio is 200%. The house has a total floor area of 114.30 sqm, which results in a ratio of 192%.
About the area
Minamiazabu is located on the eastern side of Hiroo and just south of Azabu Juban. There are approximately 8,000 households registered in this district, and the average household has two occupants.
It is primarily a wealthy neighbourhood with many grand and large homes, as well as several Embassies, international schools, cafes and restaurants. During the Edo period, the area had a mixture of farmland, temples and shrines, and daimyo residences.
Arisugawa Park is 800 meters away, while Azabu Juban’s restaurant street is 950 meters away.
For supermarkets, there is a choice of the National Azabu International Supermarket (1,100 meters), Super Naniwaya (550 meters), Daimaru Peacock (900 meters), and Seijo Ishii (950 meters).
About the local property market
Homes and land tend to be tightly held in Minamiazabu, which means that properties available for sale are in relatively short supply. There are just 7 homes listed for sale in this area, including this house. They range in price from 45,000,000 Yen for a 50 sqm (538 sq.ft) micro-house, up to 2 billion Yen for a 1970s-era expat-style home near Arisugawa Park.
There are currently just three blocks of land listed for sale in the Minamiazabu area. They range in price from 1,600,000 ~ 2,350,000 Yen/sqm (1,270 ~ 1,870 USD/sq.ft). A vacant block of land 120 meters away from this house is currently listed for 2,214,000 Yen/sqm
During Japan’s bubble economy, a survey site in Minamiazabu 5 Chome had a government assessed land value of 6,000,000 Yen/sqm in 1988. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the value of the same site hovered at around 920,000 Yen/sqm. In 2015 it was valued at 1,570,000 Yen/sqm, up 6% from 2014 and up 12% from 2013.
There is a similar shortage of supply on the rental market for detached homes, with just 3 listings ranging from 275,000 Yen/month for a 70 sqm house, up to 1,900,000 Yen/month for a 350 sqm house.
* This property sold in 2016 and is no longer available.
* Exchange rate of 1 USD / 116.97 Yen as at January 21, 2016.