One of the most interesting questions these days is how real estate markets change around the world. Many experts talk about falling property prices and I find it expedient to periodically survey the real estate market in Japan to find out whether anticipations actually become reality or not. Tokyo is always much more expensive than other Japanese cities, but let's see the numbers! I will also show you how to use a Japanese real estate website in Japanese. Scroll down for a detailed report on Japanese real estate in 2020.
The real estate market in Tokyo, Japan
I have lived in Japan for more than 5 years and based on my experiences I can tell you that if you want to purchase real estate in Japan you have to find a real estate agent and this is also true if you are looking for a rental property. In some countries you can contact the owner directly, negotiate and sign the deal in front of an attorney. I suppose this does not really happen in Japan.
Japan is a country with a very mature capitalist financial system and this means that most of the companies you will find in this country are mega-corporations. In smaller cities or on the outskirts of Tokyo you might find small-sized real estate agents, but if you are in central Tokyo you will most likely end up in an office of a real-estate zaibatsu. One of them is suumo, you can access their website using the following URL: suumo.jp. Their website will welcome you with the following page:
So far as I know, they do not have an English site so be sure to polish your Japanese knowledge before you start looking for an apartment or a house in Japan.
Even if you are not familiar with Japanese characters you can use the following map to choose your area in Japan:
First of all let us have a quick look at the real estate market in Tokyo.
If you want to browse the page related to Tokyo, you have to click on the icon that says '関東' or Kanto and you this will take you to the following page:
I will show you a few new properties in Tokyo this time.
Let's find the part which says '買う' or buy in English and go on '新築マンション' or new properties.
The next page will be a map that will show you the areas in Tokyo and you will have to choose the central part.
The next page will be a long list of these areas, but let us not worry too much about this. Scroll down a little bit and you will see the number of properties listed on the site for the given criteria.
I want to search for all properties so I am not going to choose any of the boxes. Just scroll down and click on the blue button that says "検索する" or search.
The page should load and you will be able to see the results.
Most of the properties you will see on the top of the list have no price.
I guess they have not even built these building yet and they are just looking for buyers to finance the constructions.
These are not too informative for us now so let us not bother.
So if you see '価格未定' written with red next to an advert you will have to move on, because they are not yet priced. Scroll down and you will see the ones with real price.
I had to go further down and I found this property with price:
You can see that it has a price and I found this much more informative so I opened the advertisement.
You will see the new plans of this new building in Tokyo and if you scroll down you will see detailed information on the property.
You can see the address of the new building in the first line.
This one will be built in central Tokyo, where the harbour is.
You can also see that the subway is 1 minute away. This information is written in the second line.
The third line will tell you the floor size of the properties.
1LDK is an abbreviation standing for 1 room, 1 living room, 1 dining room and 1 kitchen. 3LDK stands for 3 rooms, 1 living room, 1 dining room and 1 kitchen.
You will also see the price range in the next line written in red.
The format is a little bit weird, because it is given in 10.000 yen units.
We learn that the low end of the price range is 57 million yen ($540.452) and the high end is 266 million yen ($2.522.113).
In the next line you can see the date of moving in.
In this case the property should be ready by January 2023.
If you have a look at the right side you will see the number of units planned to be constructed in the building.
In this case this is 280.
The number below will tell you the size of the units. The smallest property will be 32 sq. m. and the largest one is 117 sq. m.
This will give you a $16.000 price for every sq. m you would want to purchase in this new building.
For comparison I looked up another similar property that should be completed by March, 2021 with 24 units.
In this case the sale price starts at 37.980.000 yen ($360.000) and the most expensive unit will be 58.980.000 yen or $559.170. The price depends on the floor and the size of the property.
The smallest unit in this building will be 53.5 sq. m. and the largest one will be 76.04 sq. m.
If you wanted to buy one sq. m. of real estate in this new building you would need to pay $6.411 calculating with the smallest unit and the lowest price.
This turns out to be $7372 if I calculate using the largest unit and the highest price.
Based on two new properties, I can conclude that in Tokyo 1 sq. m. of real estate in average costs between $6400 and $16.000.
There is a huge difference between the prices of new and old real estate in Tokyo.
Locals in Tokyo prefer to buy brand new properties with no previous owners.
I was interested in the price of older units in the city and I am going to share the results of my research now.
For this purpose I used the same website.
Currently, there are 24.694 second-hand properties in Tokyo according to suumo.
This is the first advertisement I found:
You must have spotted the difference.
You can see the most important numbers on the left side.
The bold characters represent the name of the building and you can see the sale price one line bellow the name.
The price, just as the price above is given in 10.000 yen units so this one costs 12.900.000 yen or $122.298.
On the left side you can see that this property is 51 sq. m. large so it is ideal for a family with one or two kids.
The number bellow will tell you the floor on which this unit is located. In this case this apartment is on the 5th floor.
There is another very important detail here and this is the number on the right side. This will tell you the year when the building was constructed. In this case this was built in 1966 so it is a bit old.
If you take the floor size and the price you can calculate one the price of 1 sq. m. and in this case this turns out to be $2387.
Finally, let us see one more second-hand real estate in Tokyo.
When I was looking at the previous property, I thought that the building is a little bit too old so I wanted to look for a newer one.
The structure of the data is pretty similar.
You have to look for the sale price on the left side. This unit costs 22.990.000 yen or $217.946 and the floor size is 56.93 m². This means that 1 m² of this real estate costs $3844.
You can find the year of construction on the right side. This one was built in October, 2006 and the apartment is on the 4th floor.
We can see that the price depends on the following factors: location, floor size, year of construction, floor and distance from a subway station.
If you are a fresh graduate in Japan you usually start with a 200.000 - 250.000 yen monthly salary, so this means that the chances for you to buy a real estate in Japan while you are young are pretty low. Unless you apply for a real estate loan.
This should be fine if you are a citizen of the country, but if you hold a passport of a different country you will have to combat a more advanced red tape when you apply for your mortgage.
In most cases the bank will require you to get a guarantor, because they want to make sure that someone will repay the money and if you only have friends in your international dormitory you will have hard times dealing with Japanese bureaucracy so until next time グッドラック！
Written by: LB.