Outlook for Greater Tokyo’s new apartment market in 2017

The Real Estate Economic Institute released a report on potential trends for the new apartment market in greater Tokyo for this coming year.

Supply

The supply of brand new apartments is expected to reach 38,000 units in greater Tokyo, up 6.4% from 2016 and the first time in four years to see an increase in supply. It is still below the level of 56,478 units released for sale in 2013. In 2016, supply was down 11.7% from 2015.

The supply in Tokyo’s 23 wards is expected to increase by 5.1% to 16,500 units in 2017. This is still 42% below the 28,340 units released for sale in 2013.

Chiba Prefecture is expected to have 4,000 new apartments, up 14.3% from 2016, while Saitama Prefecture is expected to have 4,500 new apartments, up 12.5% from 2016.

In central Tokyo, however, developers will still find it difficult to source development sites. The lack of residential project sites is likely to mean that central Tokyo is not expected to see a surge in supply in the near future.

Prices

Construction costs, which have seen a steep increase in recent years, are expected to stabilize or even slightly decrease, which will be good news for projects in outer suburbs where developers operate on thin profit margins.

The average price of a new apartment in greater Tokyo in 2016 (Jan – Nov) reached 55,900,000 Yen, which was the highest price seen since 1991 when the average was 59,000,000 Yen. In Tokyo’s 23 wards, the average sale price in 2016 was 66,670,000 Yen, down 1% from 2015 but up 13.9% from 2013.

Prices in central Tokyo are expected to remain high, while some suburban prices may see a slight decline.

Demand

Large-scale projects as well as luxury developments in and around central Tokyo are expected to remain popular, especially during the autumn sales war held later in the year. Prices are expected to stay high in central Tokyo due to a severe shortage of development sites which has constrained supply.

Inventory

Inventory levels are expected to remain stable at around 6,000 units.

Source: The Real Estate Economic Institute, December 21, 2016.

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