Buying a Home in Tokyo

What can you buy in Tokyo for $250,000 now?

This month, we continue to see strong growth in the number of inquiries from people looking to buy a home or investment property in Tokyo.

Below we answer some frequently asked questions, and take a look at what you can buy in Tokyo’s 23 wards and western suburbs for between $150,000 and $250,000 (¥27,500,000). The takeaway from the examples below is that the further outside the 23 Wards you go, the more square meters you can buy.

Let’s take a look at some examples!

Renovated Studio Apartment for Sale near Shibuya

This is a renovated studio apartment for sale, in the popular Shinsen neighborhood of Shibuya, 15-min walk from Shibuya Station. Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent.

Where: Shinsen neighborhood of Shibuya, 8-min walk to Shinsen Station, 14-min walk to Shibuya Station.

Price: ¥27,00,000 ($246,000)

Size and Layout: 29-sqm (312-sqft) studio (1DK)

Floor: 3rd floor unit in 8-story building

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 1978, recently renovated

Structure: Steel reinforced concrete

Notes: This is a good example of how the age of a property (built in 1978) affects its price, but this apartment is located in a very central location and has recently been renovated. This property would work well for someone looking for an entry-level investment property (estimated gross yield on this tenanted property is 5.6%) or a nicely renovated place to live in a very central neighborhood. The photo at the top of this article shows the view from the balcony of this unit.

Renovated Studio Apartment For Sale in Shinjuku

Renovated studio apartment for sale in an excellent location, 7-min walk from JR Shinjuku Station. Please click on the photo for the full listing and to inquire directly to the agent.

Where: Kabukicho neighborhood of Shinjuku, 7-min walk to JR Shinjuku Station

Price: ¥21,900,000 ($199,600)

Size and Layout: 31-sqm (333-sqft) studio (1DK)

Floor: 3rd floor unit in 3-story building

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 1983, recently renovated

Notes: Recently renovated apartment in an in excellent location. Would work as a primary residence or a second-home when you visit Japan!

Houses for Sale in Tokyo’s Western Suburbs

The further out you go from the 23 Wards, the more square meters you can buy, but the longer the commute.

3BR House for Sale in Hachioji-shi

3BR (4DK) house for sale in Hachioji-shi, a western suburb of Tokyo. Please click on the photo for the full listing, interior photos,  and to inquire directly to the agent.

Where: Hachioji-shi, a western suburb of Tokyo. About a 1-hour direct train ride to Shinjuku.

Price: ¥20,800,000 ($189,500)

Size and Layout: 86-sqm (926-sqft) 3BR (4DK) single-family house

Floors: 2 stories

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 1998

Notes: Example of how you can get more square meters of living space by buying outside the 23 Wards. Hachioji is a popular bedroom community for people who work in Tokyo.

4BR House for Sale in Machida-shi

4BR (4LDK) house for sale in the western Tokyo suburb of Machida. Please click on the photo for the full listing, interior photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

Where: Machida-shi, a western suburb of Tokyo. About a 50-min direct train ride to Shinjuku.

Price: ¥27,800,000 ($253,200)

Size and Layout: 98-sqm (1,055-sqft) 4BR (4LDK) single-family house

Floors: 2 stories

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 2005

Notes: Another example of how you can get more square meters of living space by buying outside the 23 Wards. Machida is a popular bedroom community for people who work in Tokyo.

4BR House for Sale in Ome-Shi

4BR (4LDK) house for sale in Ome-shi, a western suburb of Tokyo. Please click on the photo for the full listing, interior photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

Where: Ome-shi, a western suburb of Tokyo. Total one-way commute time to Shinjuku Station is about 1.5 hours.

Price: ¥15,800,000 ($144,800)

Size and Layout: 93-sqm (1,001-sqft) 4BR (4LDK) single-family house

Floors: 2 stories

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 2006

Notes: A very affordable per-sqm and total price for a 4BR single-family home, compared to what you could buy for the same amount in the 23 Wards.

FAQs on Buying a Home in Tokyo

Can a Foreigner Buy Property in Japan?

Yes. You can buy property in Japan regardless of your nationality or country of origin. There are also no residency requirements for buying real estate in Japan. Securing financing as a resident foreigner is more complicated. For info on financing, please see Getting a Home Loan in Japan as a Foreigner and Mortgage Calculator for Home Mortgage Loans in Japan.

How much does a house or apartment cost in Tokyo?

  • Tokyo 23 Wards Average Listing Price: In April 2017, the average listing price for a 70-sqm re-sale condo in the Tokyo 23 Wards was ¥53,230,000, a year-on-year increase of 1.3%, according to Tokyo Kantei (in Japanese). Based on this, the average listing price per sqm would be ¥760,428.
  • Central 6 Wards Average Listing Price: Reflecting their proximity to convenient transportation, shopping and business hubs, and other urban amenities, properties in the central six wards (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Bunkyo), have a much higher average listing price, at ¥73,030,000, a year-on-year increase of 1.8%. Based on this, the average listing price per sqm would be ¥1,043,285.

Average contracted sales prices were lower than average listing prices:

What about taxes and fees?

Taxes will add about 6% to 7% to the purchase price. Please see this article for a detailed explanation of Japanese real estate taxes, including annual fixed-asset (property) taxes to plan for.

Brokerage Fees

If you use an agent to buy a property, you will have to a brokerage fee (commission) of 3% of the purchase price plus 60,000 yen plus consumption tax (currently 8%). Please see this article for: Breakdown of Purchase Fees and Taxes When Buying Property in Japan.

What about monthly expenses?

If you buy an apartment in Japan, you should also set aside building management fees, in addition to the repair reserve fees mentioned above.

Building management fees pay for the day-to-day running of the building, such as common area maintenance and the salary of the on-site building manager, if there is one. The building’s management association, consisting of the owners of the building, set the building management fees.

You may also be interested in: Purchase Fees When Buying Real Estate in Japan