Huge bump in number of Tokyo condos on market


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 - Page 15

The number of condominiums offered for sale in Tokyo and surrounding areas surged 49 percent last month, the biggest gain in more than a year, as Japan’s economy started to show signs of improvement.

Developers put 4,967 apartments on the market last month, compared with 3,329 units a year earlier, the Real Estate Economic Research Institute Co said in a report released yesterday. The last time the monthly data had a bigger gain was in April last year, when it rose 82 percent.

More apartments are being offered in the market to capture potential buyers as Japan accelerates efforts under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to end deflation and boost the world’s third-largest economy. The supply of new apartments in Tokyo this year will reach the highest level since 2007 on the back of the economic recovery, according to an estimate by the institute.

“Potential buyers probably want to buy because of concerns that interest rates and prices will start to increase,” Akio Fukuda, a manager at the Real Estate Economic Research Institute, said at a press conference in Tokyo.

Japan’s GDP expanded an annualized 4.1 percent in the first quarter, compared with a preliminary calculation of 3.5 percent, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo last week. Nominal GDP, which is unadjusted for changes in prices, rose 0.6 percent from the previous three months, leaving the economy 7 percent smaller than in the same period in 1997. Consumer confidence last month was at its highest level since 2007, a Cabinet Office survey showed.

The number of new apartments put on the market will rise 9.6 percent to about 50,000 units this year, the Tokyo-based institute said. The institute had a forecast of 4,000 units for last month.