With the rise of dual-income households, developers are focusing on convenience to transport as buyers place more emphasis on a short commute to work. They are pricing this convenience into new apartments, which may limit the potential for future capital gains.
According to REINS, 3,424 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across greater Tokyo in February, up 29.6% from the previous month but down 1.1% from last year. The average sale price was 33,530,000 Yen, down 0.2% from the previous month but up 6.4% from last year. The average price per square meter was 511,900 Yen, down 0.8% from the previous month but up 3.9% from last year. This is the 62nd month in a row to see a year-on-year increase in sale prices.
1,762 second-hand apartments were sold in the Tokyo metropolitan area, up 25.6% from the previous month but down 1.2% from last year. The average sale price was 41,540,000 Yen, up 0.9% from the previous month and up 7.4% from last year. This is the highest sale price seen since REINS began publishing data in 2001. The average price per square meter was 677,100 Yen, down 0.5% from the previous month but up 4.0% from last year. This is the 65th month in a row to record a year-on-year increase in sale prices.
Last December, real estate companies HULIC and Fuyo General Lease acquired the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba hotel for 60 billion Yen (approx. 552 million USD). The seller was US investment firm Elliott Management Corporation.
Aetos Capital acquired the hotel in 2007 from Japan Airlines for 25 billion Yen, before reselling it to Elliott. In 2015, Elliott transferred the operating rights to Hilton Worldwide and the hotel was renamed to Hilton Tokyo Odaiba.
Sumitomo Realty & Development has acquired the former Hotel Floracion Aoyama in Omotesando and plans to redevelop the site, although details on the future project have yet to be announced. Demolition of the 3 ~ 6 storey building is expected to take place between March and August.
The 5,700 sqm site is a 5 minute walk from Omotesando Station. A freehold land parcel of this size and this close to Omotesando Station is incredibly rare.
Finding a large apartment to buy in Tokyo can be a lot more challenging than many foreign buyers may initially realize. This is due to the fact that the majority of Japanese developers focus on building smaller apartments to cater to domestic demand. A typical three bedroom apartment for a Japanese family would be around 70 sqm (753 sq.ft).
According to Tokyo Kantei, only 0.9% of the new apartments supplied across greater Tokyo in 2017 were over 100 sqm (1,076 sq.ft) in size, up 0.1 points from 2016 but down 0.5 points from 2015.
90.3% of the apartments were under 80 sqm (861 sq.ft) in size.
Construction on the Kita Aoyama 3 Chome District Project began on March 1. This is the redevelopment of the former Aoyama Kitamachi Apaato public housing complex located just behind Omotesando Station.
The redevelopment is being carried out under a joint venture between Tokyo Tatemono, Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsui Fudosan Residential and Kajima Corporation. The exterior has been designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates – the same architect as the nearby Olympic Stadium which is currently under construction.
The following is a selection of apartments that were reported to have sold in central Tokyo during the month of February 2018:
Red-brick foundations of the Ryounkaku Tower in Asakusa were unearthed in a construction site in February. News of the discovery quickly spread, with a number of people visiting the site to catch a glimpse of the long-lost tower’s traces.
According to the Taito-ku Board of Education, similar red-brick foundations were found in a construction site nearby in 1980. However, since the remains are not considered cultural property and are not in particularly good condition, there are no heritage protections or limitations to restrict the construction work. A 3-storey retail building is planned for the site.
According to Tokyo Kantei, the average asking price of a 70 sqm (753 sq.ft) apartment across greater Tokyo was 35,980,000 Yen in January 2018, down 0.5% from the previous month but up 0.8% from last year. The average building age was 23.2 years.
The average monthly office rent in central Tokyo’s business districts was 19,338 Yen per Tsubo (approx. 5,860 Yen/sqm) in January, up 4.1% from last year and the 49th month in a row to see a year-on-year increase. This is the highest level seen since October 2009. Office rents are now up 19.3% from their recent low of 16,207 Yen/Tsubo seen in December 2013, but are still 15.5% below a previous record high in mid-2008.
Vacancy rates were down 0.67 points from last year to 3.07%. This is similar to levels last seen in 2007 and a marked improvement from the average 8 ~ 9% vacancy rate seen between 2010 and 2014.