I want to share an interesting chart below showing the change in existing (not brand new) apartment prices from 1992 to 2020.

This chart appeared in the Money Gendai publication on January 5 and is supplied by REINS. It shows the average reported sale price of an existing apartment across greater Tokyo (which includes Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures) from 1992 up until November 2020. You need to add 4 zeros onto the numbers to get the price.

Prices bottomed out in the early 2000s before starting to recover in the lead up to the 2008 global financial crisis. That led to a credit crunch and a tightening of the monetary supply. Quite a few small-to-medium sized developers in Japan were wiped out during this crisis, leaving a small number of major developers (often referred to as the Major 7).

In March 2011, the Tohoku region was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. Property prices dropped as buyers reevaluated location risk. 

The property market returned to a recovery from early 2013 onwards, buoyed by aggressive monetary policy, low interest rates, preferential tax breaks for home owners, and a general improvement in the global economy.