• Kyodo

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The number of new condominiums listed for sale in the Tokyo region in the first half of 2020 fell 44.2 percent from a year earlier to 7,497 units, the lowest level on record because of the closure of showrooms over the coronavirus pandemic, a research institute said Wednesday.

It marked the first time that a first-half tally for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba has dropped below 10,000 units since the survey began in 1973, the Real Estate Economic Institute said.

The previous record low in the first six months was 10,959 units in 1992.

With restrictions on sales promotions expected to continue in the second half of this year, the annual figure is also predicted to hit a new low at around 20,000 units, according to the institute.

The average unit price was 66.68 million yen ($623,000), up 8.7 percent from the previous year and the highest level on record, as developers focused on selling properties in popular locations such as those near stations, which tend to carry high price tags.

Units sold in the first month of their launch stood at 68.3 percent, up 1.8 percent.

“Expensive properties are being sold, so demand hasn’t necessarily shrunk in comparison to levels before the spread of the new coronavirus,” the institute said.

By area, those listed for sale in Tokyo’s 23 wards dropped 29.6 percent to 3,845 units, while the number in the rest of Tokyo was down 40.5 percent to 761 units.

The figures for nearby prefectures also tumbled with Kanagawa seeing a 53.1 percent plunge to 1,562 units, Saitama a 74.8 percent dive to 498 units, and Chiba a 40.1 percent fall to 831 units.

In June alone, the number of new condominiums listed for sale in the Tokyo region fell 31.7 percent from a year earlier to 1,543.

The figure rebounded significantly from 393 in May after large properties in Tokyo and Chiba were made available.

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