I receive a number of inquiries about very affordable and yet old condominiums from foreign nationals.
They don’t know much about Japanese market.
Japan is facing serious social issues including ageing society and shrinking population.
And old condominiums are facing similar realities especially in the regional areas.
I am not saying all old condominiums are risky but please do not jump at the gun only because they are cheap.
You need to carefully investigate the property and check the potential risks.
Real estates are totally controlled by the market mechanism and they are cheap for a reason.
That said, if you carefully search, you could get a relatively good investment.
Just the basics.
Today I am going to share some basic laws and regulations on the real estate in Japan.
1 How does the real estate registration work in Japan ?
The real estate registration system is governed by the real estate registration law (不動産登記法）
Properties are registered in the real estate register which gives the basic information of the property and its
The registration record can be reviewed at the legal affairs bureau. (法務局)
The registration information can be accessed by the internet by paying a small fee (you can also
get a copy of registration at local legal affairs bureau.
The vacancy rate is historically low in almost two decades since January 2002.
The vacancy rate of office buildings in May in the five central wards, Tokyo (business districts, Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku, Shibuya)
was announced recently by office building brokerage firm Miki Shoji in Tokyo.
The vacancy rate dropped by 0.06 points to 1.64%.
Vacancy rate is the lowest since 2002.
Office buildings in central Tokyo continue to have very few vacancies.
Are you interested in Akiya ?
We receive an inquiry almost everyday about akiya investment.
They are mainly from western countries such as US, Canada and Australia.
Almost everyone just wants to buy a cheap akiya house for their financial benefit.
But akiya investment is not easy.
The stickiest issue is the renovation cost.
It could be very significant and a way more than the value of the houses.
We don’t search akiya for free.
If you want to buy akiya, you need to hire me on a fee basis
otherwise please contact other agents who can handle akiya on a commission basis.
(but I do not think there is any)
You need to understand how the Japanese system works and the traps and
challenges that exist.
Akiya (unused house) is cheap for a reason !
Please watch my YouTube video for more details.
(How to use inkan)
What kind of documents do you need to have for the registration of your property ?
After you acquire your property, you want to register your ownership with the officials here, right ?
If you don’t register your ownership(title), you can not legally argue that your property is yours.
You need the officially backing from the government.
Japan has the system called ‘Real estate registration’ (FUDOSAN-TOUKI 不動産登記)
How the commission for agents (realtors) work in Japan ?
The system is very different from that of USA.
In the US, sellers pay the commission to the sellers agents (listing agents) and buyers don’t pay the commission.
(Later, sellers agents split the commission with buyers agents)
In Japan, a buyer pays the 3% commission to buyers agent and a seller pays the same 3% to sellers agent (listing agent)
3% is the statutory rate and not negotiable (it is but I don’t negotiate).
Japan has been infamous for the problem of “dual agency”.