Real estate investment : Is Tokyo’s property bubble finally ready to burst ? (if any)

The RECRUIT company (major Japanese real estate advertisement company)  released its own survey on people from greater Tokyo area (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba) who have purchased the newly built condominiums in 2017.
Over 4700 people responded.
Here is the quick summary of the report.
1. Location of condo purchased
Tokyo’s 23 wards increased its share slightly from 2016 to 43% and
20% of  respondents bought condos in “Kanagawa prefecture”. (ranked 2nd next to Tokyo 23 wards)
2. Price
The average purchase price of condos is 54.52 million yen,
(U$500,000), the highest since the survey started in 2001.
3. Trend in each prefecture
The average price in Tokyo 23 wards exceeded 60 million yen (U$545,000) for the first time since the survey began
4. Age
The average age is 38.6 years old and the households with children account for 45%.
5. Income and household
Average households total annual income is 9.44 million yen(U$89,000), Married couples account for 65%
Households with annual income of 10 million yen or more gradually increase, to 36%.  65% of households generate dual income (both husbands and wives working), the highest since the survey began in 2001.
57% of single-person households buy the condominiums within Tokyo 23 wards which is significantly higher than other households.

6. Down payment
Equity (down payment) also increased. Average down payment is 12.14 million yen (U$110,000)
Total loan borrowing also increased to 45.68 million yen (about U$415,000)
The average amount of own funds(down payment without borrowing) is 12.14 million yen, an increase of 1 million yen from 2016.
Total loan borrowing increases by an average of 45.68 million yen, from 2,016 by 2,820,000 yen, the highest since 2005.
7. Reasons to buy condos and mindset
43% of respondents(as the most common reason) say
“Want to have a house for children and family”.
Other reasons are  “Mortgage rates are historically low and good timing to buy”
and “Easy-to-work, commuting, child-care, easy to two-income life etc ” Percentage of emphasis on location (distance from the station, surroundings / educational environment) is higher than before.

・Tokyo 23 wards remain as the most popular location for the home owners
・Despite the rising price of the property and stagnant economy,  Japanese young couples
(and other households) continue to purchase the newly built condominiums.
The price is not turning away the buyers and people are just catching up with the price rise.
・More and more households are generating income by dual income which
helps securing the enough budget for the housing.
(Clearly some belt-tightening will be also necessary.)
・People are managing to save more money for the down payment and
there is no sign of housing bubble.
We don’t hear the anecdotal story like ‘No down payment is required!’
・Historically low mortgage rate is one of the incentives to buy the condominiums.
・Single people have the strong  tendency toward buying the properties in Tokyo 23 wards.
・People are paying more attention to the location and convenience for daily life.
・Japanese are still obsessed with the newly built properties.
Majority of people only  consider the newly built condos (in other words, they don’t put the second-hand
condos on the table for comparison)


recruit report condo

Toshihiko Yamamoto
Real estate investing consultant and author.
Toshihiko is currently writing a book about the real estate investing in Japan
for foreign investors.
Founder of Yamamoto Property Advisory in Tokyo.
International property Investment consultant and licensed
real estate broker (Japan).
He serves the foreign companies and individuals to buy and sell
the real estates in Japan as well as own homes.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from
Osaka Prefecture University in Japan
and a MBA from Bond University in Australia 


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