What Are Tokyo House Prices? Are They Really Expensive?

You are thinking about relocating to Tokyo and you want to buy a house instead of renting an apartment there. However, you do not know how Tokyo house prices are. Don’t worry as this location guide is definitely where to find the answer. Now, let’s check it out!

How’s A Typical Japanese House?

In Tokyo’s 23 wards, a new house’s average size is around 100 square meters. The house is typically narrow and has three storeys. On the ground floor is a car space, bedroom and bathroom. The LDK (which stands for living/dining/kitchen) is on the second floor, two more bedrooms are on the third floor and sometimes there is a small rooftop deck for drying clothes. A typical house in Tokyo rarely has a garden because of high land values and small block sizes.

In a two-storey house, bedrooms and bathroom are also on the ground floor where is the darkest part of the house, making it the most suitable for the sleeping space. Besides, installing a bathroom on the ground floor is the cheapest, so you will usually see it on this floor. Like in a three-storey house, the living area is on the second floor where people spend most of daylight hours.

Let’s see how an average Japanese house is through this video:

What You Should Know About House Pricing In Tokyo

Regarding the price of a house and land in central Tokyo, 30% of the price will be the house and the remaining 70% will be the land. However, in the suburbs and other regional areas where the land prices are cheaper, this figure may be reversed.

If the house is in a dilapidated condition, you must pay for the land value only because you will need to spend money demolishing the existing structure.

Averagely, building a simple wood-framed house costs 200,000 yen/sqm, whereas a basic reinforced-concrete house can cost about 450,000 yen or more to build.

How much is a house in Tokyo’ depends on some following factors:

  • Being located on a wide street
  • Having a wider street frontage
  • South-facing street frontage: This side will provide the house with brighter living areas
  • A house on a corner allotment
  • Zoning/density

What Are The House Prices In Tokyo?

Tokyo house prices vary by location.

1. In Shoto/Kamiyamacho (Shibuya Ward)

  • House prices: 180 million ~ 3 billion yen
  • Land prices: 2 million ~ 3 million yen/sqm

Being small, but this is one of the most expensive residental areas in Tokyo (even in Japan) with some large private homes. It is where several high-profile and wealthy individuals such as the president of Rakuten, current Prime Minister and former Prime Minister Taro Aso live.

Some embassies and the Shoto Museum of Art are also located in this neighborhood. In Shoto, there is a small park called Nabeshima Park which has several houses overlooking ponds and gardens, but land surrounding the park is very rare and the price of land can be up to 3 million yen per square meter.

Tokyo house prices

Being small, but Shoto/Kamiyamacho in Shibuya Ward is one of the most expensive residental areas in Tokyo (even in Japan) with some large private homes

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2. In Denenchofu (Ota Ward)

  • House prices: 60 million ~ 1.25 billion yen
  • Land prices: around 900,000 yen/sqm

From Shibuya you can easily reach the Denenchofu area by train or by car within a short period of time. The area is home to famous people, politicians and other high-profile residents. This neighborhood seems to be unaffordable for younger families and newcomers because of the local law that requires lot sizes over a minium size.

Denenchofu is a residental area that famous people, politicians and other high-profile residents call their homes

3. In Hiroo/Azabu (Shibuya And Minato Wards)

  • House prices: 70 million ~ 1 billion yen
  • Land prices: 1.5 million ~ 3 million yen/sqm

If you are an expatriate and want to find an affordable house in Tokyo, you should definitely head to this area as it is very popular with foreigners and families. What’s more, there are parks, restaurants, cafes, international schools, foreign supermarkets and embassies in the area.

Tokyo house prices

If you are a foreigner, you can easily find an affordable house in Hiroo

4. In Shirokane/Takanawa (Minato Ward)

  • House prices: 60 ~ 400 million yen
  • Land prices: 1 million ~ 2 million yen/sqm

There are both affordable and upscale houses in this neighborhood. The Grand Prince Hotel, Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Meiji Gakuin University, Nature Study Park and “Platinum Dori” which is a tree-lined avenue with restaurants and boutiques are also situated here.

There are both affordable and upscale houses in Shirokane/Takanawa

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Does A Home In Japan Cost?

According to a recent report by Tokyo Kantei, in January 2018, a newly constructed house in the Tokyo 23 wards costed ¥64,870,000 ($603,000) on average while its average price in Osaka was ¥26,710,000 ($248,00).

The price of a house in the Tokyo suburbs is less expensive than that in central Tokyo. For example, in Tokyo’s western suburbs which include cities like Machida, Hachioji, and Fuchu, the average price of a newly constructed house is ¥42,380,000 ($394,000).

2. Is It Expensive To Buy A House In Japan?

How much is a house in Japan’ depends on its location. It will be unsurprisingly expensive to buy a new house in Japan if you buy it in the Tokyo 23 Wards. As mentioned above, the average price of a newly constructed house listed for sale in the Tokyo 23 Wards in January 2018 was ¥64,870,000 ($603,000).

On the other hand, buying a house in Fukuoka Prefecture is the least expensive. To be specific, the average price of a newly constructed house listed for sale in Fukuoka was about ¥319,823 (about $3,012) per square meter whereas the average price per square meter of a house in the 23 Wards was almost double (¥616,618). (Statistics by Tokyo Kantei in 2016)

Note that the figures are based on data from Tokyo Kantei.

3. Are Houses In Tokyo Expensive?

Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so there is no doubt that Tokyo house prices are also very costly. However, the Tokyo housing prices are distinctly lower if the houses are outside of the city centre, especially in the suburbs, surrounding prefectures and in other regions and cities of Japan.

4. Can A Foreigner Buy A House In Japan?

The answer is definitely yes. Foreigners are not legally restricted to buying property in Japan. What’s more, they don’t need to have a residence visa or citizenship to buy a house here. The only thing that they have to do is to provide a written notification to the Bank of Japan within 20 days of purchase of real property.

Conclusion

Hopefully you have got some useful information about Tokyo house prices after reading this blog. If you still have any questions related to housing or living in Japan, feel free to leave your comments and ask Question Japan!

About Yuu Sato

Yuu Hiasa has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.