Average Price for an Apartment in Otaru
As part of our series on Otaru real estate, we present our research on Otaru apartments and the average rent for an apartment in Otaru.
While the population of Otaru is not that large, we get a lot of requests to rent or buy property in Otaru. When you’re ready to look at some specific options and see some apartments in Otaru in person, contact us, and we will introduce you to local Otaru real estate agents that can help you find the perfect place to live.
For now, here is some more detail on Otaru rentals.
Average Rent in Otaru
Based on research by our team here in Hokkaido, we can report the typical Otaru apartment rent is about ¥53,000 (or just under $400 USD, as of early 2023). That is an average, and your choices will influence the price you might actually pay.
In addition to the overall general estimate to help you with planning, below we provide additional details to help you understand a more specific range of prices for apartments in Otaru.
Otaru Apartments – How Many Bedrooms Do You Need?
There are many factors that influence the rent for Otaru apartments, and the size of the unit is a key determinant.
Otaru apartment listings will use the “LDK” system, that stands for “living room, dining room, kitchen,” proceeded by a number that indicates the number of bedrooms. A 2LDK is a 2 bedroom, with a living room, dining room, and a kitchen. You might also see listings for Otaru apartments for 1DK; that is a one bedroom, with a dining room and a kitchen, but no living room (note the missing “L” in LDK). We’ll reference that naming system in our data below.
Average Rent for a One-Room or “Studio” Apartment in Otaru
A one room apartment in Otaru (“1R” or a “one room mansion”, what we would call a studio in the West) might cost about ¥34,750 (~$259 USD, as of 2023) per month.
The Japanese are known for having small living quarters, and a one room studio apartment would likely be approximately 18m2 (or 200 sq ft). That is a little on small side, but could work for many lifestyles. And if a “one room mansion” is right for you, you’ll spend about 25% less than the average price for a bigger apartment.
Average Rent for a One Bedroom Apartment in Otaru
If you need a little more space than a studio, Otaru one bedroom apartments might be a better fit.
For a one bedroom apartment in Otaru (“1LDK”), the price increases but so does the livable space. The average rent for a 1LDK in Otaru is ¥48,700 (or approximately $400 USD).
A one bedroom apartment in Otaru would still be smaller than in most Western cities, but now you would have an area for sleeping that is separate from the living area, creating some privacy, and probably more storage for clothes and household goods. An Otaru 1LDK might be bigger than 18m2, maybe 20 to 30m2 (as big as 300 to 350 sq ft).
A lot of Japanese live alone, and 1LDK units are probably the most common housing unit, so there should be more choices and availability for this type of unit. (On a related note, long term furnished apartments in Sapporo are almost exclusively 1LDK units.) You should expect to see a lot of the available apartments in Otaru in this size.
For comparison, the average rent for a 1LDK in Sapporo is ¥48,567, almost the same price. While Otaru has less opportunity for employment, less access to entertainment, fewer major schools and universities, fewer medical services, etc, the rental price in Otaru is similar, in part as Sapporo just has that much more land and apartment inventory (more supply, thus a relatively low cost).
Average Rent for a Two Bedroom Apartment in Otaru
For some lifestyles, a two bedroom apartment might be a better option, particularly for families or when a home office is a goal.
The average price for a two bedroom apartment in Otaru (2LDK) is ¥59,100 (or $450 USD as of early 2023). That price is above the average price for Otaru, but would have a lot more space, maybe 45 to 55m2 (500 to 600 sq ft).
Average Rent for a Three Bedroom Apartment in Otaru
For a much bigger place, there are three bedroom apartments for rent in Otaru (3LDK). The average price for a 3LDK apartment in Otaru is ¥68,750 (or a little over $500 USD, as of early 2023).
The rent for a 3LDK apartment in Otaru is now well above the average cost, but is also much bigger. A 3LDK unit in Otaru would be approximately 50 to 80m2 (or 600 to 900 sq ft). Perhaps bigger. This would be quite large for Japanese standards, and there are probably fewer options at this size.
Houses for Rent in Otaru
While this post is about apartments for rent in Otaru, there are also houses for rent in Otaru.
You can think of Otaru as a somewhat narrow city, squeezed between hills to the east and the sea to the west, but the population is not as dense as some other cities in Hokkaido. There is some land, and low-rise, one-story or two-story buildings are common.
Depending on the age of construction, proximity to the JR line, and conditions of the roads in winter, there may be some homes for rent in Otaru that meet your budget. If you are looking to rent a house in Otaru for an extended stay (one year contract and beyond), contact us and we can introduce you to an agent that can help.
Rent in Otaru
While we have presented some detailed estimates on apartment rent prices in Otaru, the actual price you pay will depend on many factors, so even if you limit your search to a specific size unit, you might still expect a wide range for prices depending on the qualities of the apartments.
As for key factors that influence apartment prices in Otaru, the location of the nearest train station is one primary factor. The year of construction is another detail that will determine if a given unit is newer and expensive, or older and more affordable. If you need parking for a car, or a garage space, that would influence the cost as well. And as Otaru has both some hillside terrain and the sea nearby, some units might have a very good view that might be worth more to some renters.
While we prepared the research for this article, we were interested to see that the average price for rent in Otaru is very close (maybe even slightly higher) than the average price for rent in Sapporo. It is our opinion that there are so many more apartments in Sapporo, that despite the greater earning potential there, the rent is less expensive.
And while renting in Otaru won’t save you money over Sapporo, buying property in Otaru is usually much less expensive than similar property in Sapporo. For more information, see our article about buying a house in Otaru.
Real Estate Agents in Otaru
We specialize in making personalized, one-to-one introductions to real estate agents.
A local Otaru agent can work with you and offer specific recommendations about where to live, can provide more specific pricing, and then can help you make in-person visits to see available apartments for rent for yourself. Contact us and we will introduce you to prescreened Otaru real estate brokers that speak your language.
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We work for you, not the real estate companies.
We provide person-to-person introductions to prescreened agents that help you sell, buy, lease, or rent property in Hokkaido. We search our custom database to connect you to real estate professionals that speak your language, address your needs and are available now to help you find what you want.
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For More Information:
— Recent data on Housing Prices in Otaru
— Current detail on the Otaru Population (by year)
— Local Sapporo Real Estate Agents
— Some details on Move-In Costs for a Sapporo Apartment
— Our List of Sapporo Neighborhoods (Sapporo Wards)
— International Schools in Sapporo
— Find Lawyers in Hokkaido
— Tax Offices in Sapporo
— Our Taxes in Japan page
— Buying Property in Hokkaido as a Foreigner