Japan’s apartment price to income ratio increases again

According to Tokyo Kantei, the average price of a brand-new apartment across Japan was 7.81 times the average annual income in 2017, up 0.34 points from 2016 and exceeding the previous high of 7.64 seen in 1992. A total of 28 prefectures saw affordability of brand-new apartments worsen in 2017, up from 22 prefectures in 2016. In Kanazawa City, the supply of high-priced new condominiums pulled up the average for Ishikawa Prefecture to a multiple of 8.37, up 3.52 points from 2016.

For 10-year old second-hand apartments, the multiple across Japan was 5.30, up 0.14 points from 2016. The average price of a 70 sqm second-hand apartment nationwide was 23,760,000 Yen (approx. 210,000 USD) in 2017, up 3.8% from 2016.


Tokyo’s 23 wards were the most expensive across all regions in Japan with 70 sqm brand-new apartments costing 13.26 times the average annual income and 10-yr old second-hand apartments costing an average of 10.46 times the annual income. The multiple for brand-new apartments increased by 0.19 points from 2016, while the multiple for second-hand apartments increased by only 0.05 points. The widening gap between brand-new and existing apartments is causing consumers to switch their attention to the more affordable existing home market.

At the peak of the bubble economy in 1990, the multiple for brand-new apartments in the Tokyo metropolitan area reached 18.12 times the average annual income. The average price of a brand-new 70 sqm apartment in 1990 was 107,660,000 Yen, or around 1,538,000 Yen/sqm. The Real Estate Economic Institute reported that the average price per square meter for a brand-new apartment in 2017 was 1,083,000 Yen/sqm.

Japan’s least affordable areas for brand-new apartments:

  1. Tokyo: 13.26 times (Average price of 73,710,000 Yen)
  2. Kanagawa Prefecture: 11.16 times (Average price of 59,590,000 Yen)
  3. Saitama Prefecture: 10.13 times (Average price of 47,320,000 Yen)
  4. Hyogo Prefecture: 9.67 times (Average price of 44,980,000 Yen)
  5. Osaka Prefecture: 9.07 times (Average price of 44,550,000 Yen)

Japan’s least affordable areas for second-hand apartments:

  1. Tokyo: 10.46 times (Average price of 58,150,000 Yen)
  2. Okinawa Prefecture: 8.09 times (Average price of 31,460,000 Yen)
  3. Kanagawa Prefecture: 7.32 times (Average price of 39,090,000 Yen)
  4. Osaka Prefecture: 6.78 times (Average price of 33,290,000 Yen)
  5. Miyagi Prefecture: 6.69 times (Average price of 29,050,000 Yen)

About the data:

  • Second-hand apartment prices are based on the average assumed price of a 70 sqm, 10-year old apartment.
  • Incomes are estimated based on data provided by prefectural governments.

Tokyo Kantei, September 25, 2018.
The Real Estate Economic Institute, January 22, 2018.

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