Top 30 areas for investing in Japanese apartments
When investors look for apartments to buy in Japan, they tend to pick areas that are within easy reach of public transportation stations. On top of whether or not investors like the area that they are buying in, the supply and variety of property in the are also key considerations when determining the appeal of an area.
Some areas are more popular than others. According to recent research done by Mercury’s “Mansion Engine”, a search and listings site for apartment buyers, the most popular station in Japan right now is Musashi Kosugi Station.
This survey also reveals the top 30 stations around which people buy apartments:
#30 to #21
(Umeda is the only location outside Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures)
30. Umeda station (Osaka)
29. Futakotamagawa station (Tokyo)
29. Oimachi station (Tokyo)
27. Sumiyoshi station (Tokyo)
26. Minamiurawa station (Saitama Prefecture)
25. Kiba station (Tokyo)
24. Chofu station (Tokyo)
23. Totsuka station (Kanagawa Prefecture)
22. Kinshicho station (Tokyo)
21. Tsudanuma station (Chiba Prefecture)
In 30th place is Umeda station in Osaka. It isn't the first time that Umeda station has made the list as it is firmly established as a familiar and popular location.
In 29th place is Futakotamagawa Station (Tokyo), which is another regular feature on the list. It continues to be popular, but the number of properties available in the area is comparably quite limited (at 402).
Further up the list at #21 is Tsudanuma Station (Chiba Prefecture). It is the only station in this survey in Chiba Prefecture. Tsudanuma started out as a commuter town, offering the benefit of direct access straight into the Tokyo city center, making it quite popular among investors for its convenience.
#20 to #4 (includes a station in Hyogo Prefecture)
20. Musashi Urawa station (Saitama Prefecture)
19. Urawa station (Saitama Prefecture)
18. Shinsaibashi station (Osaka)
17. Motosumiyoshi station (Kanagawa Prefecture)
16. Omiya station (Saitama Prefecture)
15. Nishinomiya Kitaguchi station (Hyogo Prefecture)
14. Nagahoribashi station (Osaka)
13. Tsukishima station (Tokyo)
12. Hiyoshi station (Kanagawa Prefecture)
11. Tsunashima station (Kanagawa Prefecture)
10. Kitasenju station (Tokyo)
9. Shinkawasaki station (Kanagawa Prefecture)
8. Kitaurawa station (Saitama Prefecture)
7. Senri Chuo station (Osaka)
6. Fuchu station (Tokyo)
5. Nishikasai station (Tokyo)
4. Sakurashinmachi station (Tokyo)
For the first time, Kitaurawa station (Saitama Prefecture) enters the Top 10 at #8. Interestingly, Urawa in Saitama Prefecture has a total of four stations in this ranking (#8 Kitaurawa, #19 Urawa, #20 Musashi Urawa, and #26 Namuraura). Evidently, this area in Saitama Prefecture is starting to gain popularity.
This is primarily a reflection of the fact that Urawa is known as the "Bunkyo area". Bunkyo, roughly translated, means capital of culture.
Urawa is also popular for its public infrastructure like schools. Public high schools in Saitama Prefecture include Urawa High School and Urawa Daiichi Girls' School, as well as other secondary schools, such as Omiya, Urawa Municipal, Warabi, Kasukabe, and Kasukabe Girls, all located near stations.
There is also a large number of cram schools around Minami Urawa, which explains the large number of children studying here ahead of sitting for junior school exams.
The high quality of its schools has been a driving force behind the growth of the area: this is why Urawa has so many apartments targeted at families.
As high rise apartment blocks continue to spring up, the area around Kitaurawa station is now a bit like a university town.
Average incomes of residents of Saitama are also on the high side, so the area has leapfrogged over places like Setagaya in Tokyo as a desirable place to live for affluent earners.
Senri Chuo station (Osaka prefecture) appears at #7, and is one of the few places in the Top 10 outside Tokyo.
The Top 3
(Surprisingly, #1 is not in Tokyo)
3. Toyosu station (Tokyo)
2. Kiyosumi Shirakawa station (Tokyo)
1. Musashikosugi station (Kanagawa Prefecture)
While two out of the top three are in Tokyo, it is interesting to note that the most popular location in 2016 is in the Kanagawa Prefecture rather than Tokyo.
However, Tokyo proves to still have a stronghold in terms of buyers demand. The third most popular location is Toyosu station (Tokyo), with its emergence driven by the rapid growth of tower block developments. Its popularity has surged further in the wake of the decision to host the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
As land in Tokyo Bay continues to be developed, connected with a convenient transport network, families with young children have poured in.
The area around the station has been systematically developed, with wide roads added and plenty of parks. Koto Ward (where Toyosu is located) has seen a population increase in excess of 100,000 people in the last ten years. From that area, access to both Tokyo and Chiba is good. And it is easy to get around by car if you use the Bay Shore route.
The second most popular location on the list is Kiyosumi Shirakawa station (Tokyo). With city center revitalisation accelerating, the area has become increasingly popular with older residents.
Good transport links also underpin its ranking, with real estate firms adding to the supply of apartments available.
Finally, the most popular location on the list is Musashi Kosugi station (Kanagawa Prefecture). Musashi Kosugi has attracted a lot of attention recently as a redevelopment area.
It was originally developed as an industrial area prior to the war, but as factories have moved or closed, tower blocks have risen up in their place on the old factory sites.
The government has also worked to develop the area at the front of the station and to extend the roads, leading to a complete change in the area’s character and appearance.
The 11 tower blocks around the station make for a unique skyline, and it is well-known as one of the backdrops for the movie "Shin Godzilla".
Musashi Kosugi’s key selling point is the outstanding convenience of its transport links.
It is an ideal station for commuting to work or getting to school: it is 17 minutes to Tokyo station on the JR Yokosuka Line; 18 minutes to Shinjuku station on the JR Shonan Shinjuku Line and 13 minutes to Shibuya by the Tokyu Toyoko Line.
Large business and commercial facilities have also popped up in the surrounding area of the station. During the holiday season, it is a place where families flock to.
Musashi Kosugi is highly regarded as an ideal town location in which to bring up young children. Large scale redevelopment is planned around the north entrance of the station, so Musashi Kosugi’s profile and appeal look to continue increasing.