Housing inventory down 44% in Tokyo since start of pandemic

We have about twice as many people looking for houses than apartments, yet detached homes represent less than 15% of total housing inventory (houses and apartments) available for purchase across Tokyo. As a licensed brokerage, we have access to the entire market but cannot stress enough just how hard it is to source homes for clients.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the already-small inventory of detached homes has shrunk to a dire level. Inventory in the Tokyo metropolitan area as of May 2022 was 44% lower than it was in February 2020, pre-pandemic shock. Over that same period, the average sale price has increased by 16.7%.

Transaction volume is up, too, with more active buyers than before. Average reported sales per month in 2021 were 19% higher than in 2019 and 12% higher than in 2020. 

Average months’ supply of inventory* for detached homes in the Tokyo metropolitan area:

  • 2017: 15.6
  • 2018: 17.6
  • 2019: 19.4
  • 2020: 17.1
  • 2021: 11.0
  • 2022: 10.8

*The months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory of homes to sell based on the total monthly sales. A lower number means a tighter market with demand outweighing supply.

What does this mean for potential home buyers?

You will be competing with more buyers and with a smaller number of options available. Fewer people are selling. The number of new listings each month is about a third lower than it was in 2019, pre-pandemic. And, with rising construction costs, we might see homeowners stay put for longer, further constricting supply on the resale market. 

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