The operator of a planned onsen, hotel and retail center to be built next-door to the Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo has announced that they may withdraw their plans due to concerns about feasibility. The proposed ‘Senkaku-banrai’ center would include a 24hr hot spring bath, hotel and 200 restaurants and stores, with a forecast for 1.9 million annual visitors.
Don’t let the Olympics overshadow your thought process when buying.
Short-sighted buyers who buy under the hype of the Olympics could possibly find themselves in a difficult position after the games have finished.
Since the Olympics announcement last week, the real estate industry has been in a state of excitement as buyers scramble to buy apartments near the action. But the Olympics are still 7 years away and the event only lasts a few weeks. Can this excitement be sustained and what will happen to property prices after the games are over?
Although completion is not expected until August 2014, 630 of the 1,110 apartments in Skyz Tower & Garden in Toyosu have already sold.
The man-made islands on Tokyo Bay have been undergoing a slow gentrification over the past 10 years or so as factories and warehouses are gradually being replaced by high-rise apartment buildings and shopping malls.
The islands are already home to some large-scale redevelopments, including The Tokyo Towers (2008) and Triton Square (2001), while many more projects are in the pipeline.
This area was usually thought of as a cheaper alternative to apartment living in the more central areas in Tokyo, while still offering an easy commute. However, prices in some apartments can now be as high as those in Minato-ku. The growing popularity of the area, however, does not mean every project is guaranteed strong sales.
With the total number of new apartments released for sale in May up 50% from last year, and a contract rate of 78.1% in greater Tokyo, there are strong expectations that Abenomics will lead to increased property values. Major banks increased their 10 year fixed mortgage rates for the second month in a row. With rising interest rates and an expectation of rising real estate prices, buyers are feeling added pressure to purchase.
Normally the summer season is a slow one for apartment sales, but with an expected increase in consumption tax next year the last minute rush from buyers is expected to continue throughout the summer. However, the recent correction in the stock market at the end of May might have cast some doubt over the chance of a prolonged recovery in apartment sales.
One new condominium that could be a barometer of market conditions is Skyz Tower & Garden in Toyosu, Koto-ku.
Sales of apartments in Skyz Tower & Garden in Toyosu are scheduled to begin in July. This is part of the ‘Tokyo Wonderful Project’ redevelopment of a 32,000 sqm site that was once a Tepco-owned thermal power station.
The 150m tall condominium will contain 1,110 apartments ranging in size from 53.25 to 130.92 sqm (573 ~ 1408 sqft) and priced from 35 to 139 million Yen. A 74.50 sqm 3-bedroom apartment will be priced around 55 million Yen (738,000 Yen/sqm), and some apartments will be priced over 100 million Yen. Over 10,000 inquiries have been made prior to the opening of the showroom this coming weekend.
According to real estate information service provider, Mercury, a total of 92 new buildings with 9742 apartments will go on sale in greater Tokyo in April. The number of new buildings is down 28% from March and the total number of apartments decreased by 29%.
Mitsui Fudosan will be embarking on a large-scale redevelopment of Koto-ku’s Toyosu area from next year. The 100 billion Yen (1.3 billion USD) project on one of Tokyo Bay’s reclaimed islands will cover a 47,400 sqm site. The project will include two high-rise office buildings (31 and 22 stories) as well as retail facilities. Due to the nature of the site, measures will be taken to strengthen the ground against liquefaction and the building will be built using “seishin” (vibration-control) construction. Completion is scheduled for 2016 and Mitsui Fudosan will be contributing 90 billion Yen in capital.
Tokyo’s bayside area, which has seen a boom in high-rise condominiums or “tower mansions” in recent years, is now considered a rather risky area to live since the March 11 earthquake. The earthquake caused land liquefaction and many elevators to stop working, resulting in a newly coined term for residents living on high floors – “high-rise refugees”.
“There was a lot of swaying. It felt like an amusement park ride” remarked a resident who lives in a 54-storey condominium in Koto-ku’s Shinonome area. “I still cannot forget the sounds made by the steel-frame of the building.”
One month has passed since the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. With strong aftershocks continuing and a nuclear disaster that was just upgraded to the maximum level, uncertainty remains over what will happen to the Japanese economy in the short and medium term.