Station access a priority for Japan’s double-income households

With the rise of dual-income households, developers are focusing on convenience to transport as buyers place more emphasis on a short commute to work. They are pricing this convenience into new apartments, which may limit the potential for future capital gains.

According to Tokyo Kantei, apartments within a 3 minute walk from the nearest train station increased in value by an average of 10%, while those between a 7 ~ 10 minute walk saw an average decrease in value of 5%. Those located more than 20 minutes from the nearest station saw values drop by 22%. This is a strong point pushed by sales staff in showrooms for new condominiums across the city.

In 2017, the average price of a new apartment within a 3 minute walk from a station in the 23 wards reached 940,000 Yen/sqm, a 44% increase over the past five years and exceeding the average increase of 36% seen across all new apartments. In central Tokyo’s six wards (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Bunkyo) the average price of a new apartment within 3 minutes from a station actually decreased by 8% from 2016.

Gracia Tower Mitaka is a 184-unit condominium under construction just south of Mitaka Station in Mitaka City, west Tokyo. It offers a 20 minute commute into Shinjuku and 36 minutes to the Otemachi / Marunouchi business district. Despite being outside of Tokyo’s 23 wards and 15km from Shinjuku, apartments are priced relatively high with an average of around 1.35 million Yen/sqm (approx. 1,150 USD/sq.ft). The majority of apartments are 3-Bedroom units priced between 80 ~ 90 million Yen (approx. 730,000 ~ 825,000 USD), with the most expensive apartment priced at 160 million Yen (approx. 1.46 million USD). Sales began in late February with the sales office reporting inquiries from buyers both within Mitaka City and across Japan. The building’s direct connection to the station via a pedestrian bridge has been a major selling point. The 26-storey tower is scheduled for completion by February 2019.

Gracia Tower Mitaka

Half of the 491 apartments to be made available for sale in Park City Musashi-Koyama The Tower are already under contract, with construction due for completion by January 2020. The 41-storey high-rise is a 1 minute walk to Musashi-Koyama Station on the Meguro Line and is a 22 minute commute to Otemachi and 20 minutes to Shinjuku. The average apartment price is around 1.4 million Yen/sqm (approx. 1,200 USD/sq.ft), a relatively high price for the neighborhood.

*Tokyo Kantei data provided as at the end of 2017 for second-hand apartment sales in 10-year old buildings in Tokyo’s 23 wards.

Source: The Nikkei Shimbun, January 25, 2018.