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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 June 12 - 18  > General public can’t afford a condo at former Olympic village due to soaring prices caused by corporate resales
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2024 June 12 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

General public can’t afford a condo at former Olympic village due to soaring prices caused by corporate resales

June 13, 2024

After the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Tokyo metropolitan government renovated the site of the athletes’ village into condominiums for families with the use of a huge amount of Tokyoites’ tax money, supplying approximately 5,600 units. Many of these units were sold at a discount below market price. In January of this year, residents began moving into their condominiums.

However, in one zone, for example, a quarter of the unit buyers were corporations, some of whom purchased as many as 38 units. The purpose of large purchases was to resell or rent the units, according to media reports.

As a result of resales, condo prices have soared to 1.5 to 2 times the original prices. They have become unaffordable for ordinary households. A couple who was rejected seven times in the lottery for a condominium unit said, “If the households that really wanted to live there had entered into the lottery only for one unit each, we would have given it up.”

Why didn’t the metropolitan government set a limit on the number of applications for the condo lottery? Why did it allow a single buyer to sign up for more than one unit? When the Tokyo-owned land was converted to private condominiums in 2008, it placed a 5-year ban on resales, so why did it allow resales this time? Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblymember Harada Akira of the Japanese Communist Party posed these questions at the latest session of the assembly. The Tokyo metropolitan government at a loss for an answer deflected attention away from the issue.

Hadara’s questioning revealed that the government of Tokyo gave generous preferential treatment to large corporations. This will be a major issue in the gubernatorial election slated for July 7.
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