Tokyo office vacancy rate rises for 2nd month

The office vacancy rate across Tokyo’s prime business districts increased for the second month in a row, with a 0.06 point increase to 1.56% in April. Chiyoda and Chuo wards saw vacancy rates shrink from the previous month. Chuo’s vacancy rate reached a new record low of 1.08%, down 0.06 points from March and down 0.94 points from April 2019.

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Tokyo’s office market continues to strengthen

In August, the office vacancy rate in Tokyo’s five central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) was 4.72%, down 0.17 points from the previous month and down 1.30 points from last year. This is the lowest vacancy rate seen since December 2008. Shibuya had the lowest vacancy of 2.22%, down 0.05 points from July and down 1.79 points from last year.

With vacancy rates below the 5% level said to indicate a healthy balance between demand and supply, rents continue to increase. The average monthly office rent was 17,490 Yen per Tsubo (5,300 Yen/sqm), up 0.01% from the previous month and up 4.5% from last year. This is the 20th month in a row to see a month-on-month increase.

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Office vacancy rates in September 2014 – Miki Shoji

According to Miki Shoji’s office report, the office vacancy rate in Tokyo’s five central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) was 5.65% in September, down 0.37 points from the previous month and down 2.25 points from last year. This is the first time since February 2009 that vacancy rates had dropped to the 5% range.

The 5% range is considered to be the tipping point between supply and demand. As a result, real estate companies have started to raise rents. Mitsubishi Jisho have begun seeking an increase of rent of around 5 ~ 10% in the 30 buildings they own in the Marunouchi and Otemachi business district in front of Tokyo Station. Mori Building have also started negotiating with tenants in relatively new buildings for higher rents. Mitsui Fudosan are also setting higher rents for new leases.

Meanwhile, office tenants continue to seek ways to control costs and mid-size and regional building owners are hesitant to raise rents. While vacancy rates have fallen sharply, rents are not increasing at the same speed.

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Office vacancy rates in August 2014 – Miki Shoji

Left: Nippon Life Marunouchi Garden Tower; Center: Nihonbashi Diamond Building; Right: Oase Shibaura MJ Building

According to Miki Shoji’s office report, the office vacancy rate in Tokyo’s five central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) was 6.08% in August, down 0.18 points from the previous month and down 2.14 points from last year.

The vacancy rate in brand new office buildings was 18.17%, up 0.76 points from the previous month and up 0.24 points from last year.

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Office vacancy rates in July 2014 – Miki Shoji

Mercros Bldg Tamachi Front Bldg
Mercros Building (left) and Tamachi Front Building (right)

According to Miki Shoji’s office report, the office vacancy rate in Tokyo’s five central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) was 6.20% in July, down 0.25 points from the previous month and down 2.09 points from last year. This is the lowest level seen since March 2009 when vacancy rates were 6.05%.

The vacancy rate in brand new buildings was 17.41%, down 0.68 points from the previous month but up 4.69 points from last year.

The following office buildings were completed in July:

  • Mercros Building, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku: 9 floors; 6,980 sqm floorspace.
  • Tamachi Front Building, Shiba, Minato-ku: 9 floors; 5,730 sqm floorspace.
  • PMO Shiba Koen, Minato-ku: 8 floors; 3,500 sqm floorspace.

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Office vacancy rates in June – Miki Shoji

Iidabashi Grand Bloom
Iidabashi Grand Bloom

According to Miki Shoji’s office report, the office vacancy rate in Tokyo’s five central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) was 6.45% in June, down 0.07 points from the previous month and down 2.01 points from last year.

The vacancy rate in brand new buildings was 18.09%, down 2.33 points from the previous month but up 6.49 points from last year.

It is not just large-scale office buildings that are experiencing better conditions, but mid-size buildings are also seeing a boost in demand. All 11 buildings developed under Nomura’s mid-size office brand ‘Premium Midsize Office (PMO)’ are almost fully occupied. Mitsubishi’s renovated small-to-mid sized office building in Kanda is also almost fully occupied. The building has attracted several IT-related tenants who want the freedom to design their own office space. 

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