One of Shibuya’s oldest homes hits the market

A traditional Japanese house in the heart of Shibuya is currently on the market for 2.27 billion Yen (approx. 20.3 million USD).

*Update 1: A month later the asking price was reduced by 25% to 1.7 billion Yen.

*Update 2: The house is scheduled to be demolished between September and November 2020.

*Update 3: Demolition seems to have been postponed.

The two-storey wooden house has a total floor area of 235 sqm (2,529 sq.ft) and sits on a 501 sqm block of freehold land. Some renovations and extensions have been added to the house in recent years. It is located in a prominent and highly desirable position directly across the street from Nabeshima Park. Built in 1924, this may have been one of the very early homes built in the Shoto area when it was redeveloped by the Nabeshima family in the 1920s.

The asking price works out to around 4.5 million Yen per square meter (or 3.4 million Yen/sqm after the later price reduction). 

About the Shoto neighborhood: 

Located a 10 minute walk from the hectic Shibuya scramble, Shoto is an exclusive and historically wealthy, low-rise residential enclave with large homes on large allotments. It is among some of the most expensive residential addresses in Japan. Several of Japan’s high-profile individuals call this place home. 

During the Edo period this district was the vast estate of Kishu-Tokugawa clan. In 1876, it was purchased by Nabeshima Naohiro, daimyo of the Saga Domain, at a government sale. The land was converted into a tea plantation with the tea branded and sold as ‘Shoto-en’. For a short while it was considered some of the best quality tea in the Tokyo area. The opening of the Tokaido rail line to Shizuoka in 1890 saw increased competition in the local tea market, causing Nabeshima to stop tea production in 1904. The land was then used for farming. Following the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, Nabeshima subdivided the land into a luxury housing estate to provide high-end homes for nobles and upper class residents. One of the early residents was Hidesaburo Ueno, a scientist, but mostly famous as the guardian of loyal dog Hachiko. 

The family donated the 5,000 sqm Nabeshima Park to Tokyo City in 1932. The park includes a natural spring pond and gardens. Only 22 allotments can enjoy direct park views. 

Expect to pay anywhere from 2 ~ 5 million Yen/sqm (approx. 1,680 ~ 4,200 USD/sq.ft) for land in this neighborhood. Some parts of the neighborhood are more desirable than others. Government assessed land values (chika-koji) in the Shoto address increased by 3.20 ~ 3.87% in 2018. This is the 5th year in a row to see year-on-year increases in land values. They are still almost 20% below their recent peak in 2008 and 76% below the asset bubble peak in 1988.

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