Japan’s apartment living ratios in 2017

Tokyo Kantei has issued their annual report ranking the cities and towns across Japan that have the highest percentage of condominium-type apartments as a share of total households. According to the data, 12.41% of households in Japan were living in apartments in 2017, up 0.10 points from 2016.

In the Tokyo metropolitan area, the ratio was 27.20% – the highest in the country. Kanagawa Prefecture was in second place with 22.68%.

Although the majority of prefectures saw an increase in apartment living, several regional districts saw the ratio decline, including Yamagata, Ibaraki, Gunma, Saitama, Yamanashi and Shiga prefectures.

Kyoto Prefecture saw the biggest change with a 0.21 point increase over the past 12 months, knocking Tokyo out of top spot for the first time in 7 years. The ratio in 2017 was 11.86%. In recent years Kyoto has been a highly-sought after city for Japanese to own either holiday homes or retirement homes, with developers actively building condominiums to cater to growing demand from out-of-town buyers.

The prefecture with the lowest ratio was Aomori with just 0.88% of households living in apartments. Aomori has 5,156 condominium-type apartments and 587,232 households. There were no new apartments built in the prefecture in 2017.

Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward in top spot

On a major urban basis, Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward had the highest share of apartments nationwide with a ratio of 83.00% in 2017. Tokyo’s Chuo ward was in second spot with a ratio of 81.02%, followed by Minato ward with 75.44%.

Resort areas not included

Japan’s ageing and overbuilt resort towns were not included in this report. Towns such as Yuzawa in Niigata Prefecture, and Kusatsu in Gunma Prefecture have more apartments than households due to heavy development during the bubble era. Yuzawa has 4 times more apartments than total households, the majority of which are resort-type apartments.

Source: Tokyo Kantei, January 31, 2018.

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