Sales of previously owned (re-sale) apartments in the greater Tokyo area had a record-breaking year in 2019, with sales contracts hitting a new high and surpassing the 38,000-level mark for the first time. This is according to a recently released annual report from the Eastern Japan Real Estate Information Network (REINS), the public real estate information exchange organization serving the eastern part of the country.
Below are the key takeaways from the sales transactions report for the 2019 residential re-sale market.
Re-Sale Apartments (“Manshon”)
- The number of sales contracts for re-sale apartments in the Tokyo capital region was up in 2019 by 2.4% (the first year-on-year increase in two years), hitting the 38,000 level for the first time; and the highest number ever recorded (38,109).
- The average price per square meter has increased for seven consecutive years, chalking up a 40.0% increase in the last seven years to ¥534,500 per square meter ($4,897 per sqm or $455 per sqft).
- The average actual sales price has also increased for seven consecutive years, hitting ¥34,420,000 ($316,000) in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 3.6%.
- Average sales prices increased in every area of the greater Tokyo capital area, except for Kanagawa prefecture.
- The average age of a re-sale apartment sold last year was 21.64 years and average size was 64.39 square meters.
- The number of re-sale apartments newly recorded for sale (put on the market for sale) fell year-on-year, but for two consecutive years has surpassed the 200,000-unit market, which is a considered a high level.
- The number of new apartments newly listed for sale last year increased in every area except for the Tokyo 23 Wards, the western Tokyo suburbs, and Saitama prefecture.
- The asking price and asking price per square meter for re-sale apartments put on the market in 2019 both increased for the sixth consecutive year.
- The average asking price (for newly registered apartments) was ¥32,970,000, a year-on-year increase of 2.6%.
- The average asking price per square meter (for newly registered apartments) was ¥574,300, a year-on-year increase of 2.0%.
Re-Sale Detached Houses
- The number of sales contracts for detached houses surpassed 13,000 units, the first time in three-years with a year-on-year increase.
- The average sales price dropped for the first time in five years, to ¥31,150,000, a year-in-year decrease of 0.9%.
- The average age of a re-sale house sold in 2019 was 21.38-years, the average size was 104.96-sqm and the average land (lot) size was 146.82-sqm.
- The number of re-sale detached houses newly recorded for sale (put on the market for sale) increased last year for the third consecutive year.
What is driving sales?
As discussed in a recent post (on December 2019 re-sale apartment prices hitting a record-breaking high), the main factors affecting sales in the re-sale apartment market are:
- Many buyers are being pushed out of the new apartment market by increasingly high prices (with average sales prices it a 29-year high in 2019). These buyers are looking at alternative properties in the re-sale market.
- 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).
- The Bank of Japan’s massive monetary easing has helped to suppress mortgage interest rates, with rates in the last few years at historic lows.
Can a foreigner buy property in Japan?
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Source: REINS, January 22, 2020 (in Japanese)
Lead photo: iStock, Sanja Festival