With some apartments receiving over 200 purchase applications this month, buyer demand in the Harumi Flag development on Tokyo Bay has been so astonishingly high that NHK sent a journalist out to see what was going on.

Harumi Flag is the former Athlete’s Village for the 2020 (2021) Summer Olympics. The 13-hectare site is on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, with the closest train station at least a 20-minute walk away. The first round of sales began in August 2019, with 1,543 purchase applications made on the 600 apartments on offer. A total of 940 apartments were sold in 2019. In December 2021, 631 apartments were released for sale with 5,546 purchase applications received, average 8.8 applications per apartment. In August 2022, a further 408 apartments were released for sale with 5,669 purchase applications, averaging 13.9 applications per apartment. All up, the project will have 5,632 condo and rental apartments across 24 buildings. 

The most recent round of sales held earlier this month resulted in an average of 71.1 applications per apartment, with the most popular apartment receiving 266 purchase applications. Several other apartments were each receiving between 100 ~ 200 applications from buyers. The least popular apartment, one on the 2nd floor, received just 35 applications. The higher the floor, the more popular it was.

The NHK journalist interviewed several of the people that attended the sales event, with the most popular reason for purchase being the relatively low price of the apartments. The units are about 20 ~ 40% cheaper than others on the islands, and that is due to the distance from the station and the discounted price that the developers acquired the land for.

What might also be driving the high demand is the appearance of a number of property flippers applying for multiple apartments to re-sell or rent out. Some speculative buyers have applied for as many as 10 ~ 30 apartments each. 

The developers do not have any limits on the number of apartments that an interested buyer can apply for in this project. 

Source: NHK, February 16, 2023.