Japan’s high-rise apartment market from 2017 to 2021 onwards

According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, there are 285 high-rise residential buildings containing 106,321 apartments planned for completion across Japan from 2017 onwards. This is an increase of 47 buildings and 16,477 apartments from the previous survey point in March 2016.

76.1% of the apartments are located in the greater Tokyo area, where 186 high-rises containing 80,919 apartments are planned in the coming years. This is an increase of 40 buildings and 15,907 apartments from the 2016 survey.

52.2% of the future supply nationwide will be located in Tokyo’s 23 wards, with 124 buildings containing 55,519 apartments either under construction or planned for future construction. This is an increase of 32 buildings and 9,942 apartments from 2016.

In Tokyo’s Chuo-ku, which includes the bayside islands, 14,675 apartments are planned in 18 buildings, accounting for 26.4% of the future supply in the 23 wards. Minato-ku has a future supply of 32 buildings and 9,634 apartments, while Chiyoda-ku has future plans for just 4 high-rise buildings containing 488 apartments.

In Japan, the development of high-rise apartments in Japan started to take off from the late 1990s. Living in a high-rise apartment was considered the pinnacle of the urban lifestyle and apartments were popular with Japanese buyers because they were thought to hold their value over time and be relatively easier to re-sell in the future. Projects were initially centred in the Tokyo and Osaka regions, but have gradually spread to regional areas to meet growing demand from buyers.

A steep jump in property prices in 2007 saw a drop in demand for apartments. The following global financial crisis had a significant impact on the property market in Japan and caused the delay of many new developments. In 2010, the supply of new apartments dropped to 17,967 units nationwide, down 50% from the 35,607 units released in the previous year.

The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011 saw several projects delayed, particularly in bayside areas where the risk of liquefaction and tsunamis had caused buyers to focus on projects on safer ground. Annual supply in 2011 dropped to just 13,321 units.

In 2012, the market started to show signs of a recovery with a supply of 16,060 new apartments. In 2013, developers restarted several large-scale projects in the bayside area which pushed supply up to 19,759 units. In 2015, supply reached 20,535 units, exceeding the 20,000 level for the first time in six years. Of those units, 14,738 were located in the greater Tokyo area.

In 2016, there were 16 high-rise buildings containing 7,359 apartments completed in the greater Tokyo area, down from 36 buildings and 14,498 apartments in 2015.

Apartment buildings over 50-floors planned across Japan:

[1] Nishi-Shinjuku 3 Project (Tokyo) 2 x 65-story 3,200
[2] Toranomon-Azabudai District Project (Tokyo) 3 x 65, 63 and 53-story 1,300
[3] The Parkhouse Nishi-Shinjuku Tower 60 (Tokyo) 1 x 60-story 976
[4] Kachidoki East Project (Tokyo) 3 x 58, 45, 29-story 3,120
[5] Tsukishima 3 Project (Tokyo) 1 x 58-story 1,135
[6] Bashamichi Project (Yokohama) 1 x 58-story 1,135
[7] Harumi 5 Project (Tokyo) 2 x 56-story 2,650
[8] Toyomi 5 Project (Tokyo) 2 x 56-story 2,150
[9] Atago 1 Project (Tokyo) 1 x 56-story 600
[10] Kachidoki 2 Project (Tokyo) 2 x 53-story 2,170


*High-rise refers to a building of 20 floors and above.

Source: The Real Estate Economic Institute, April 25, 2017.

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