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Tokyo: Prices reach 23-year high for newly-built apartments, luxury types take the lead


Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi, Bloomberg

Hanabi (fireworks) is not the only thing going ???boom??? in Tokyo these days. Tokyo???s real estate market is also enjoying a boom of its own. According to a recent report published by the Real Estate Economic Institute, the average price of new apartments released for sale in 23-Ward Tokyo reached JPY79.84m, an increase of 27.9% year-on-year (YoY). The average price per square meter was JPY1,199,000, representing a YoY growth of 34.6%. An increase in the supply of higher-end condos and the rising construction costs are cited as key reasons for this price growth.

More interestingly, sales of luxury, high-end properties costing over JPY100m now represent over one fifth of the entire 23-ward market. While there were 2,020 units on the market in July for 23-ward Tokyo, of which 83.3% were sold (1,684 units), out of this, 417 units (22% of the total) ?had cost over JPY100 million.


Computer-generated image of Brillia Meguro

One key example of this rapid growth is the Brillia Towers Meguro development in the Meguro station area. A total of 603 units were sold in July, of which the average price tag was a whopping JPY111.47m. Apparently, there were an average of 3.4 offers for every unit released for sale, and as many as 43 offers for the popular ones, according to the report. Construction is slated to be completed in 2017, and so far 91% of the units have already been sold.

The average sales price of new apartments in the wider area — greater Tokyo — also grew but to a lesser extent. Greater Tokyo sales (which includes its suburban sprawl of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama Prefectures) grew 2.4% month-on-month (MoM) and 7.6%YoY with the average sales price hitting JPY59.53m. This is the highest sale price since May 1992, when prices had averaged JPY59.71m. The average price per square meter, which ran up to JPY850,000 in July for greater Tokyo, had increased by 2.5% MoM and 10.2% YoY. This is the highest per square meter price seen since November 1992.

Photo by Reuters

Photo by Reuters

In July, 4,785 new apartments in greater Tokyo were released for sale, an increase of 36.6% MoM and 13.3% YoY, and of which 83.7% were sold (4,003 apartments). Of all new apartments, 1,722 units on the market were in high-rise buildings (an increase of 12.3% YoY) and of which 92.3% were sold (buildings with 20 or more floors are categorized as high-rise buildings).

For more details, here is the actual report (Japanese only): https://www.fudousankeizai.co.jp/share/mansion/216/s201508.pdf

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Tokyo 23-Ward secondhand houses exceed JPY100m average


Nobita's house (Doraemon)

According to the second-hand home sales report published by Tokyo Kantei, the average price of a second-hand detached house within Tokyo???s 23 wards was JPY100.04 million for the month of July, representing a 15.8% YoY (year-on-year) increase. Top sellers were Minato, Meguro and Shibuya wards. The criteria of properties under this survey are wooden, detached houses that are over 100sqm but under 300sqm in size, and are within 30 mins walking access of train routes or 20 mins access of bus routes.

The Sense House by Kazutoshi Imanaga

The Sense House by Kazutoshi Imanaga

To give an idea about the property, in Tokyo???s 23 wards, the average land area for a detached, second-hand house hovers around 145.3sqm with a constructed house size of 138.8sqm (July data, but not so different from previous months). The average age of the building was 22.5 years in July.

In comparison, in July, for the same type of property, in the Tokyo Metropolitan area (Tokyo-To), excluding the 23 wards, the average price reached JPY63.36 million (an increase of 9.9% YoY), while the average price for greater Tokyo (aka the suburbs) was only JPY35.71 million (representing a 3.1% YoY growth. Click here for the whole press release: http://www.kantei.ne.jp/release/PDFs/kodatecyuko201507.pdf (Japanese only).

Source: Homeesthetics.net

Source: Homeesthetics.net

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Tourism boom drives Japan to convert offices into hotels

Tourism boom drives Japan to convert offices into hotels

"Business-class" cabins are seen at First Cabin hotel, which was converted from an old office building, in Tokyo, July 3, 2015. Record tourists to Japan are stretching the ability of hotels to accommodate them in a sector constrained by high costs, forcing developers to think out of the box for means to quickly increase lodging options without breaking the bank. Picture taken July 3, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai - RTX1MBVO

By Junko Fujita

BUSINESS JUL. 31, 2015 - 07:30AM JST

TOKYO (Reuters) ? Record tourists to Japan are stretching the ability of hotels to accommodate them in a sector constrained by high costs, forcing developers to think out of the box for means to quickly increase lodging options without breaking the bank.

Japan is on target this year to beat the record 13.4 million visitors in 2014, helped by a weak yen and easier visa requirements for some Asian countries. The government is aiming to attract 20 million visitors by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympics, to revitalize the world???s third-biggest economy.

The rising influx of tourists is already squeezing existing accommodation supply in Tokyo, which has about 100,000 hotel rooms. Just 7,600 rooms are scheduled to be added in the next three years, according to STR Global, a research firm for the hotel industry.

The slow pace of growth is due to rising land prices and construction costs. One quick solution: convert old office buildings into hotels with tiny but stylish rooms that can rent for under US$30 a night, less than half the rate for a cheap business hotel.

???Converting an office building into a hotel is an ideal way to respond to the immediate need for hotel rooms,??? said Yukari Sasaki, senior managing officer at property developer Sankei Building Co. ???Building a hotel from scratch costs too much money now because of high construction costs.???

Sankei, a unit of Fuji Media Holdings Inc, which owns the conservative Sankei newspaper, converted a 35-year-old office building in Tokyo???s electronics-geek district of Akihabara into a hotel in under a year and for less than $8 million.

The hotel, called Grids, charges ?3,300 ($27) a night per person for a bunkbed and up to ?5,000 ($40) for premium rooms with tatami mats.

By comparison, the average room rate at Tokyo???s lowest-ranked business hotels has risen 11.7 percent from a year earlier to ?9,500, according to STR Global.

???The market for this type of hotel is still tiny, but it has potential to grow bigger in major cities where hotel demand is strong,??? said Tomohiko Sawayanagi, managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle in Tokyo.

Also, as more office towers are being built, older and smaller office buildings become less attractive. Such properties could be better used as hotels, industry people say.

???Some office buildings can generate higher returns when converted into hotels because we can expect further increases in foreign visitors to Japan,??? said Yuji Sakawa, deputy general manager at B-lot Co, a Tokyo-based real estate investor.


Last year, B-lot converted a 28-year-old office building near Tokyo???s popular Tsukiji fish market into a hotel called First Cabin, where ?5,500 will get you a ???business-class cabin??? with a single bed.

Another ?1,000 buys you space to open a suitcase.

In March, B-lot sold First Cabin to Hong Kong-based property investor SIS International Holdings Ltd, and is now converting a 30-year-old office building in Shinjuku, a popular destination for Asian tourists, into a bunkbed hotel.

Competition will come from the likes of home rental website Airbnb, which has listed thousands of properties, even at the risk of running afoul of the law.

Current regulations on short-term rentals are strict: owners are not allowed to legally let their homes without a license, hotel-style reception desks and minimum room sizes.

But there is hope. As part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe???s economic growth strategy, his government has designated special zones across the country where a range of regulations will be eased, including laws related to short-term lodging.

In the meantime, property developer Sankei plans to convert more office buildings into low-end hotels. Its Grids property in Tokyo is slated to be torn down eventually to make way for an apartment building.

???But if tourism is still booming, we may rebuild it as a new hotel,??? Sankei???s Sasaki said.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Click For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

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Vintage Apartments in the Azabus

The Azabus (Moto Azabu, Minami Azabu and Nishi Azabu mainly) are highly sought-after residential areas with one of the highest price tags in Tokyo. It is a well-known embassy and affluent area, and is popular with locals and foreign residents alike. The branded residences as well as newly-built apartments tend to run over JPY10,000 per square meter in rent.

One option that is worth considering is looking for vintage-grade residences that would offer the convenience and luxury of residing in a popular location. Vintage-grade apartments tend to offer spacious layouts for the given rent, and are likely to be renovated inside to provide a comfortable lifestyle. Because of the location, the building, while on the older side, are also well-maintained and kept tidy to fit in with the surroundings. In this article, we highlight a number of vintage-grade apartment buildings primarily in Motoazabu and Minami-Azabu.

customCustom Motoazabu

Located in the heart of the exclusive Motoazabu neighbourhood, Custom Motoazabu is a vintage apartment residence with a small number of units, which affords it a private and exclusive atmosphere in a sought-after location. Each apartment occupies an entire floor, which enables residents a very private living arrangement in this five-storey building.

Moto-Azabu, with its famous schools (such as Azabu High School and Nishimachi International School) boasts a gated-residence feel. The array of embassies within Moto Azabu, coupled with the private Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club further accentuates the tranquil and exclusive atmosphere. The vast selection of high-quality international preschools also attract many young foreign families to the area.

custom31School buses heading for international schools farther away run through the area. Good quality playgrounds are also in close proximity; and Arisugawa Park is a public space that offers a tranquil spot within well-kept grounds and landscaping in the heart of the city.

Conveniently located, Custom Azabu is between Hiroo and Azabu Juban, which means access to the shops, cafes, restaurants and supermarkets is easily accessible in both locations. In addition, Roppongi is not too far away, and would offer further commercial choices. Hiroo station (Hibiya line) is 7 minutes walk away, while Azabu Juban station (Oedo and Namboku lines) is 9 minutes walk away.

As of July 15th 2015, one 4-bedroom (314.82 sq. m) apartment is listed for JPY900,000 per month, representing just JPY2900 per sq. m approximately. For more info:?http://higherground-rent.com/rent/564/

motoazabugdns2Motoazabu Garden

Located in the Azabu Juban side of Motoazabu, Motoazabu Garden is situated in a convenient location with direct access to supermarkets, shops, restaurants and cafes. While the property was constructed in 1989, and falls in the vintage category, in line with the rigorous demands of being in such a prestigious location, the building is well-kept and classically stylish.

The lobby has a charming lounge area and the open areas are well maintained and neat. The five-storey building has auto-lock entry, video intercom, security and offers storage lockers for deliveries.

Azabu-Juban is an area with many commercial entities from shops, restaurants, cafes to bars. While Nissin World Delicatessen supermarket, a large-scale international supermarket, is only a short walk from the train station, there are other supermarkets in the area to offer more choices.

motoazabugdns1The main shopping street of Azabu Juban gives off a charming, village atmosphere that is complimented by the cobblestone pavements in some areas. Despite the old-world charm, the area also offers modern shops and eateries, including vegan cafes, taco and burrito restaurants as well as other modern fare among the usual Starbucks or Tully’s Coffee. Four minutes from Azabu Juban station, there is easy access to the Namboku and Oedo train lines. Roppongi is also within easy reach and would offer additional delights in shopping, dining and entertainment.

Currently as at July 15th, 2015, a 2-bedroom (85.31 sq. m) is available for JPY390,000 per month. For more info:?http://higherground-rent.com/rent/1135/

castlemotoazabuCastle Motoazabu

Located seven minutes walk from Azabu Juban station, Castle Motoazabu is an older style apartment building that provides large, spacious units that are geared toward foreign residents. Steps from Motoazabu Hills and nestled amongst embassies, the residence is situated in a quiet and luxurious neighborhood.

Close to both Azabu Juban and Hiroo, residents can access the transportation found in both places as well a businesses and services to cater to day-to-day needs. The street facing the residence is lined with trees, offering a serene atmosphere. The building itself is well kept and stately in appearance. The front desk has bilingual staffs.

The spacious apartments provide a large living area as well as a good sized master bedroom. The master bedroom tends to have a walk-in closet and the kitchens of the units tend to provide a wide range of appliances suited to the needs of foreign residents. Parking is also available within the building premises.

castlemotoazabu2A number of great international schools and preschools are within walking distance from this residence; and the school buses of other major international schools pass through the area. The area is also close to Arisugawa Park. The close proximity to Azabu Juban enables residents easy access to a wide variety of shops, restaurants and cafes. There are both local and international supermarkets in the vicinity. Roppongi is also within walking distance.

Currently listed (as at July 15th, 2015) is a 4-bedroom (204.13 sq. m) for JPY 1,050,000 per month. For more info:?http://higherground-rent.com/rent/1158/

katsucourtKatsu Court Motoazabu

This apartment is located in Moto-Azabu, an exclusive residential area with an international atmosphere. ?There are several embassies around the area, as well as Arisugawa Park which offers a beautiful garden and large children???s playground. The ground floor houses a highly-reputed international preschool, ABC International and the main entrance is on the side of the building; but nevertheless providing a modern, well-maintained entrance using high-grade materials and a nice display of green that give an upmarket appeal.

Vintage-style apartments tend to offer good value and the rent per sq. meters tend to be lower in these older style apartments, which offer the possibility to live in a wonderful location. And in Motoazabu, older style apartments are great because they are well-maintained, still look appealing and stately, and tend to offer apartment styles that cater to foreign tastes. And Katsu Court Motoazabu is a great vintage apartment in the heart of one of the nicest neighborhood in Tokyo.

The neighborhood is close to Roppongi Hills and the closest train stations are Hiroo and Azabu Juban. The entrance and lobby are modern and offer a posh appeal. The apartments are very large for Tokyo standards and are well suited to foreign residents. Apartments go as large as 320 sq. meters in size, offering 5 bedrooms and ample living space, as well as a family or den area.

Kitchens are also well proportioned and offer a large working space and a good selection of appliances. The modern apartments also include a large master bedroom and closet space. There is a building manager on duty and parking is available within the building premises. For more info:?http://higherground-rent.com/rent/790/

veneo1Veneo Minamiazabu

Located between Hiroo and Shirokane Takanawa stations in Minami Azabu 4-chome, Veneo Minamiazabu is an older but upmarket classic-type residence. Built in 1988, both the exterior and interior are finished with granite and natural tiles, giving it an expensive look.

The entrance leads to a lobby decorated with classical furniture and the finishings give an European atmosphere to the environment. While the exterior is grey toned, the interior is finished with a travertine-toned tile walls and light flooring.

Apartments are large, for example one unit in this building is over 300 sq. meters and came with four bedrooms, an ensuite in the master bedroom and a housekeeper???s room. Parking is also available on site and the building has good security in place.

Hiroo offers not only an international supermarket but also a local supermarket, a large number of eateries and also chain coffee shops such as Starbucks. There are further options in Shirokane Takanawa for shopping and restaurants. In addition, there are many bilingual services in the surrounding area, which such as bilingual and dental clinics and hair and beauty salons. For more info:?http://higherground-rent.com/rent/304/

victoriacourtVictoria Court Minamiazabu

Located in a quiet residential area of Minami Azabu 3-chome, not far from the Honmura Elementary School is Victoria Court Minamiazabu. The residence is a low-rise development comprising of two wings, East and West. Built in 1991, this residence is a great vintage-style property that provides great value in rental for size and quality of the apartments.

The property houses a total of 21 units only, which is small given its land size and provided facilities. This enables residents to live in a private and tranquil setting. There is also plenty of greenery and the surrounding exterior has a lot of trees and shrubs that give the building a relaxed, laidback atmosphere.

The in-house facilities are extensive: there is a heated indoor swimming pool, squash court, sauna, BBQ area, and kids play room. With such a small number of units, these facilities would also not be crowded. The 24-hour manned front desk is also bilingual and the building has auto-lock entry and video intercom installed. On site parking is available as well as trunk rooms for residents.The bright, well-lit apartments have an array of appliances installed and offer plenty of storage space. The living area and bedrooms are well proportioned to maximise the space.

There are also good international schools in close proximity and school buses to international schools further out run through the neighborhood. Tokyo International School is a stone???s throw away and ISSH is also within walking distance.

The closest train station would be Shirokane Takanawa but Hiroo station is also accessible, being about 13 minutes walk away. Azabu Juban station is also reachable within 15 minutes. The close proximity to multiple stations also maximises the variety of supermarkets, shops, clinics and restaurants. For more info:?http://higherground-rent.com/rent/318/

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Grosvenor Place Kamizonocho


In a nutshell, this property development simply wows. Grosvenor Place Kamizonocho is situated right on the border of Yoyogi Park. This super luxurious residence offers easy access to one of Tokyo???s largest parks, Yoyogi Park. Due to its on-the-park location, Grosvenor Place Kamizonocho reminds one of the posh apartments surrounding New York City???s Central Park or London???s Hyde Park.

grosvenorplacek3This property is in a quiet, serene neighborhood but it is also close to places like Omotesando and Shibuya. From the ground floor, there are five floors above and three floors below. The common spaces are tastefully done with features like designer furniture, attractive fireplace and private gardens.

Some of the apartments offer rooftop gardens with built-in jacuzzi baths. The kitchen go beyond the usual offerings to include items like a large wine cellar, high-end brand of oven (Miele), five-stove cooktop and a Western size dishwasher.grosvenorplacek21

The driveway into the parking is grand and attractive, and can accommodate 68 cars. Guest parking is available. Yoyogi-Koen station (Chiyoda line) is 8 minutes walk away and Sangubashi (Odakyu-Odawara line) station is 7 minutes walk away.

Please click this weblink for more details:?http://higherground-rent.com/rent/1184/


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