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Apartment prices in Tokyo in 2020 are close to their high in the era of the bubble

A worker walks through the Athletes’ Village to attend the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last year. (AP photo)

TOKYO: Prices for newly built apartments in the Tokyo area rose 1.7% last year, approaching record levels in Japan during the era of Japan’s asset-ballooning bubble that ended in the early 1990s, the country’s Real Estate Economic Institute said.

Rising construction costs due to Olympic preparations and the popularity of high-rise housing units in previously industrial waterfront areas helped push the average apartment price to 60.84 million yen, the highest since 1990 when it reached a record 61.23 million yen.

The real estate data and consultancy firm said the most expensive unit was a 690 million yen condominium in Daikanyama.

The number of sales decreased by 12.8% from the previous year to 27,228 units, however, it was down nearly 70% from 1990 levels.

The real estate website Suumo said in a report last week that lower interest rates and tax breaks have helped maintain demand for real estate amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Unlike people in other big cities like New York that experienced a mass exodus to the suburbs during the coronavirus pandemic, Tokyo residents seemed more interested in moving to new developments in central locations to reduce their commute times.

The average Nikkei 225 index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange is about 16% last year.

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