How much does it cost to buy a house in Tokyo? October 2020 Update

Below we give a mid-year update on the market for newly constructed and previously owned homes in Tokyo, based on September and second quarter listing prices and actual sales prices.

What is the average listing price for a new house in Tokyo?

“Tokyo” can refer to the greater Tokyo metro area, the city of Tokyo including the western suburbs, or the 23 Wards of Tokyo.

The Greater Tokyo Area is defined as the Tokyo 23 wards plus the Tokyo western suburbs and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa.

In addition to the 23 Wards, Tokyo includes 26 more cities (市-shi), five towns ( -chō or machi), and eight villages ( -son or -mura). The five biggest cities in the “western suburbs” are major cities in and of themselves: Hachioji, Machida, Fuchu, Chofu, and Nishi Tokyo. Hachioji, for example, has a population of over 577,000.

In September 2020, the average listing price for a newly constructed detached wooden house in Tokyo of between 100-sqm and 300-sqm (1,076 sqft and 3,229 sqft) was:

  • Greater Tokyo Area: ¥36,850,000 ($354,000)
  • Tokyo (23 Wards + Western Suburbs): ¥42,880,000 ($412,000)
  • Tokyo 23 Wards: ¥59,410,000 ($570,000)
  • Tokyo western suburbs: ¥40,110,000 ($385,000)

What is the average sales price of a previously owned house in Tokyo?

Sales prices for previously owned houses in Tokyo are reported by REINS Higashi Nihon, which is functionally equivalent to a regional multiple listing service for eastern Japan.

For July to September 2020, the average sales price for a previously owned detached house in Tokyo was:

  • Tokyo (23 Wards + Western Suburbs): ¥46,150,000 ($443,000)
    • This was a year-on-year increase of 5.5% and an increase of 14.6% compared to the April to June period, when sales dropped sharply due to coronavirus social distancing measures.
    • This was also the highest average sales price since the July  to September (3rd quarter) 2018 period of ¥47,020,000.
  • Tokyo 23 Wards: ¥57,170,000 ($549,000)
    • This was a year-on-year increase of 5.7% and an increase of 15.8% compared to the April to June period.
    • This was also the highest average sales price since the July  to September (3rd quarter) 2018 period of ¥57,170,000.
  • Tokyo Western Suburbs: ¥32,730,000 ($319,000)
    • This was a year-on-year increase of 10.1% and an increase of 5.7% compared to the April to June period.

Purchase fees and taxes

You should also factor in purchase fees and taxes to the total cost:

At the time of signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement: Down payment (in most cases 10% to 20% of purchase price), miscellaneous expenses (roughly 1.7% of purchase price)

At or by the time of closing (handover of keys): Remainder of purchase price (purchase price minus down payment), miscellaneous expenses (roughly 6-10% of purchase price)

  • Agent Fees: Generally 3.24% of purchase price + 64,800JJPY (this is the upper legal limit). One half of the agent fee is usually paid at the time of signing the purchase and sale agreement, with the balance due at closing.

1-2 years after purchase: Payment of Real Estate Acquisition Tax (varies depending on the property)

For an in-depth discussion, please see this article: Purchase fees and taxes when buying a house in 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“.

How do I get a property loan as a foreigner in Japan?

Please see this article for information on: Getting a property loan as a foreigner in Japan

What is the process for buying a property in Japan?

Please see our step-by-step guide: Guide to Buying Property in Japan

See how much you can borrow and your monthly payments in yen: Yen Mortgage Loan Calculator

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

Need to know: Earthquake building codes and technology in Japan

Bilingual Real Estate Agent in Tokyo Answers Your FAQs on Buying and Managing an Investment Property

How much is my property worth?

Real Estate Japan is pleased to offer free, no obligation appraisals for owners of property in Japan. Please click here and fill out the form: How much is my property worth?

7 situations when you should consider selling your investment property in Japan

What are the main factors affecting home sale prices in Japan in 2019?

Seminars on Buying Property in Japan

Please see our seminar page for a current list of seminars on: how to buy a home in Japaninvesting in Japanese real estate for beginnershow to apply for permanent residency in Japanhow to sell property in Japan, and much more.

 


Sources: Tokyo Kantei, October 2020 Tokyo Area detached house market report (PDF in Japanese)

REINS, October 2020 Market Watch (PDF in Japanese)

Lead photo: Tokyo, via iStock