Average Price of a Pre-Owned Apartment in Greater Tokyo Reaches a New High – January 2020 Update

In December 2019, the average listing price of a pre-owned apartment in the greater Tokyo region hit a new all-time high of ¥37,440,000 ($344,000), a year-on-year increase of 0.4% and up 1.3% compared to November. This price point also surpassed the 2019 high reached in May, of ¥37,400,000). The greater Tokyo region includes the city of Tokyo and the prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa. As we reported in a recent post, the average price of a new apartment sold in the greater Tokyo area hit a 29-year high of ¥59,800,000 ($545,000) in 2019.

Driving Factors

The two trends are linked, as many buyers being pushed out of the new apartment market by increasingly high prices are finding alternative properties in the re-sale market. Another important factor is that consumption tax (which was raised to 10% from 8% in October last year) is not charged on the sale of a pre-owned residential property by a private individual (consumption is applicable when the seller is a corporation). A third underlying factor is, of course, the BOJ’s massive monetary easing, which has helped to suppress mortgage interest rates.

As we discussed in the 2019 mid-year update on the re-sale apartment marketbuyers bought apartments in the greater Tokyo area at a record pace in FY2018 (April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019). In FY2018, the number or sales contracts signed (37,601), was the highest number ever recorded.

Here are the key takeaways from the December 2019 report:

Greater Tokyo Region

  • The average listing price for a pre-owned apartment in the Greater Tokyo Area was ¥37,440,000, a year-on-year increase of 0.4% and a month-on-month increase of 1.3%.
  • Tokyo City as a whole: ¥50,350,000 (+1.9% YoY, +0.6% MoM)
  • Kanagawa Prefecture: ¥28,760,000 (-1.9% YoY, +0.8% MoM)
  • Saitama Prefecture: ¥22,400,000 (-3.2% YoY, -0.8% MoM)
  • Chiba Prefecture: ¥20,062,000 (+0.9% YoY, -0.5% MoM)

By Major City

This is the breakdown by major city around Japan:

FAQs About Buying Property in Japan

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 “Basic Requirements for Getting a Mortgage as a Foreigner in Japan“.

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For information about purchase and brokerage fees: Breakdown of real estate purchase fees and taxes in Japan

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