Car parking spaces becoming scarce in Tokyo

Anyone with a car who is looking to buy an apartment in the Tokyo area may already understand the challenge in finding a building that has parking spaces available.

Car parking spaces in the Tokyo area are becoming fewer and fewer in number and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years. The ratio of car parking spaces provided in new condominiums in greater Tokyo has fallen from a ratio of 77.3% in 2007 to just 42.2% for the first half of 2017.

According to a report by the Real Estate Economic Institute, there were 14,730 brand new apartments offered for sale across greater Tokyo (Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture) in the first half of 2017. The new buildings offered for sale during this period included 6,218 car parking spaces, indicating a ratio of 42.2%.

Tokyo’s 23 wards had the lowest ratio with just 2,064 parking spaces for 7,008 new apartments (a ratio of 29.5%). In 2007 the ratio was 56.0%.

Chiba Prefecture had the highest ratio with 61.9%, although this has fallen below the 70% range seen between 2011 and 2015. In 2007 the ratio was 92.0%.

Developers are focusing less on providing parking spaces to residents as lifestyle changes, downsizing and budgetary constraints mean that local buyers are less likely to own cars. The growth in the car sharing business, along with projects focused in areas closer to train stations has also helped support the car-less trend.

Tips for finding an apartment with parking:

  • Luxury, low-rise apartment buildings usually have a higher ratio of parking spaces to apartments.
  • Older, vintage apartment buildings (e.g. Homat or Domus buildings) tend to have a higher ratio of parking spaces, especially flat parking.
  • Beware of machine-type parking. There are height and weight limits, and larger vehicles or sports cars may not fit. Flat parking (non-machine parking) spaces are usually few in number and cost more to rent.
  • Got an electric car? Although some of the newer projects are starting to include a few car charging spaces, the vast majority of buildings do not have power outlets that can be used for this purpose.
  • Some apartments will include the usage rights to a car space, but the majority do not. If a parking space is not included, you will need to rent one through the owners association. If there are no vacant spaces, you may need to go on a waiting list.
  • Consider looking for monthly parking spaces in the neighborhood.


The Real Estate Economic Institute, September 13, 2017.
Re-Port, September 12, 2017.

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