Tokyo: A big city with small apartments

Did you know that less than 3% of the second-hand apartments listed for sale across greater Tokyo in 2021 were over 100 sqm (1,076 sq.ft) in size? And that 0.4% were over 141 sqm (1,517 sq.ft) in size?

New listings for the year, across all apartment sizes, were down 5.7% from 2020. The biggest drop was in the number of new listings over 141 sqm in size. That figure was down 28% from 2020 – the biggest drop across all apartment sizes. Remaining inventory in this size range was also down 14% from 2020. 

Anyone looking to purchase an apartment over 100 sqm is, for the most part, going to be limited to Tokyo’s 23 wards where over 60% of the inventory is located. A further 20% is located in neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture, with 250 apartments over 100 sqm in size available at the end of 2021.

Apartments over 100 sqm in size represented 2.9% of the reported transactions in Tokyo’s 23 wards in 2021. 42% of transactions were apartments sized between 60 ~ 80 sqm, and 40% were for apartments sized between 30 ~ 60 sqm.

Looking for something over 200 sqm? Based on our own rough calculations, you’d be looking at no more than 0.1% of apartment sale listings that meet that size.

Why are there fewer large listings as of late? REINS doesn’t delve into the details, but from our own recent discussions with listing brokers, fewer owners of larger, livable apartments are keen to sell, despite record high prices. Those in the market to sell their own apartment would also be looking for something equal or better as a replacement. With few suitable options, some homeowners are deciding to stay put, thereby shrinking available listings even further.

Source: REINS, July 29, 2022.

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