Date
17 December 2017
Transaction prices in Tokyo have tripled since 2013, driven by surging demand from Chinese buyers. Photo: Bloomberg
Transaction prices in Tokyo have tripled since 2013, driven by surging demand from Chinese buyers. Photo: Bloomberg

Chinese buyers flood into Tokyo property market

Chinese buyers have been snapping up properties in Tokyo despite tensions between China and Japan.

Transaction prices in the Japanese capital have tripled in the past year due to increased demand from mainland Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwan buyers, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday, citing a Tokyo property agent.

Japan’s property market has been resilient to growing Sino-Japanese tensions over a host of political issues including a territorial dispute over a string of islands in the East China Sea, the report said.

Chinese buyers have been taking advantage of a 20-year-long decline in Japanese housing prices, coupled with incentives from the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the prospect of an economic boom in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Also, they are drawn to Japan’s environment, culture and food hygiene.

The average home price in Tokyo is up more than 14 percent from 2013, Japan Real Estate Institute data shows.

Naoaki Kanasugi, president of Toutaku Co.Ltd., which specializes in helping Chinese buy Tokyo properties, said demand is so overwhelming no one could afford hesitation.

Although property prices in Tokyo are improving, they are still low compared with those in major mainland cities and Hong Kong, Kanasugi said.

He said an apartment in Tokyo costs less than HK$2 million (US$257,875) and rental yield can be as high as 8 percent.

Chinese buyers are betting on a continuing rise in Tokyo property prices, Mitsui Fudosan, a leading property agent, said.

Hong Kong buyers are growing at the fastest pace, with inquiries tripling between April and June from a year earlier.

It said Hong Kong buyers are most interested in cheaper downtown apartments between HK$2 million and HK$3.5 million, partly because they can only get mortgage from Bank of China’s Tokyo branch and are subject to stricter requirements.

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