Tokyo’s ultra-luxe housing market is booming


More and more buyers are snapping up multimillion-dollar properties in the city centre

The world’s ultra-wealthy seem to see promise in Tokyo as their next real-estate playground.

New luxury developments are popping up in the Japanese capital, and buyers both foreign and domestic are snapping them up, Bloomberg reported on Sunday. From March 2022 to March 2023, the average sales price of new apartments doubled, and year-on-year they were up 60 per cent in April and 48 per cent in May, according to data from the Real Estate Economic Institute.

“I think Japan is finally realising that real estate is a commodity,” Yukiko Takano, a real-estate adviser at List Sotheby’s International Realty, told Bloomberg.

Some major sales have been happening in Tokyo as of late: Just last week, a penthouse with a rooftop infinity pool at the Kengo Kuma—designed Kita complex sold for about US$50 million. In February, sales opened up for the Mita Garden Hills, where a three-bedroom apartment went for US$4.1 million. And according to the real-estate company Savills, a penthouse at the Azabudai Hills building sold for about 20 billion yen, or more than US$141 million—the most ever paid for a Japanese apartment.

This is a big turn of face for Japanese buyers. In the past, the country’s wealthy tended to avoid high-rise buildings in Tokyo’s city center, in favor of quieter, more private properties in outer neighborhoods. Now, however, more and more high-net-worth individuals are opting in to the amenities-laden complexes being built by big-name developers.

Part of that might be thanks to younger tech entrepreneurs who have made it big in the past few years, along with an influx of foreigners who see Japan as a desirable place to buy property. For those flocking from other Asian countries, such as China or Hong Kong, Japan is outside many of their geopolitical tensions, and the relative cheapness of the yen means they can get pretty good deals. With US$1 million, for example, you can get twice as much prime real-estate space in Tokyo as you can in New York, and three times as much as in Hong Kong, according to Knight Frank data cited by Bloomberg.

That’s a pretty big bang for your buck, especially when it comes to housing.

This story was first published on Robb Report USA. Photo by George Kedenburg/Unsplash