The Japanese Housing Market: Is it Time to Buy?
The prices of newly built standalone homes and condominiums in Japan
have been rising steadily for the past few years,
but there is a growing concern that the market may
be reaching a turning point.
The prices of newly built standalone homes and condominiums
* Foreigners can buy a property in Japan without having special qualification.
Explore the charming houses by the lovable ocean and beach
New listings in Boso peninsula, Chiba prefecture!
If you live in Tokyo and want to buy a second house near the ocean and beach, I always recommend Boso peninsula (Kamogawa city, Katsuura city, Minamiboso city, Tateyama city etc). The location is excellent and it takes only 1.5 hours from central Tokyo by car.
You can drive on a highway all through to Kamogawa city from Tokyo and there is no traffic. If you don’t want to drive and rather want to indulge in drinking a beer on the way, there is very comfortable express bus service from Tokyo station. The seafoods and vegetables are nice and fresh (In fact, Chiba prefecture is a major supplier of seafood and vegetables to Tokyo Metropolitan kitchens so nice foods you are eating in Tokyo are often produce of Chiba). Izu peninsula area in Shizuoka prefecture is also very famous for nice beaches and onsen (hot springs) but Izu’s location is not perfect. It takes about 3.5 hours by car to Izu Shirahama beach from Tokyo. In the modern busy life, proximity matters.
In Boso peninsula, they have great surf in the pacific ocean and the quality of sea water is superb. (Believe me you can’t imagine how good the quality of water is in Kamogawa city which is merely 1.5 hours away from Tokyo). In 2020, Tokyo Olympics surfing competition will be held in Katsuura city. According to one of my surfer friends, Boso peninsula is the best surfing spot in Japan.
Today I picked up two interesting properties in Boso Peninsula, Chiba prefecture.
(View from the property)
One of my good friends in the industry has just listed a beautiful house in Yakushima.
The small, remote island of Yakushima, which lies off the southern coast of the southernmost of Japan’s four major islands, Kyushu, is shaped something like the Hawaiian isle of Kauai. And just as on that other circular bit of rock over 4,000 miles away across the North Pacific, visitors arrive here seeking respite in subtropical rain forests and mountains. (from NYT)
Situated in the sacred island, this sophisticated new construction is in the exclusive Yakushima island.
The property boasts 1932 square meters of forest land and the fantastic ocean-view.
The house is compact wooden with a toilet which is equipped with the natural disintegrator system.
You don’t need the sewerage.
We don’t need to tell you about the brilliance of Japan quality: detailed, good service and competitive price etc etc. But for how good Japan quality in general is, it’s equally easy to screw up. Badly.
Japan’s real estate industry and construction industry are full of fraudulent companies.
A number of them are rogue (of course, there are good and trustworthy companies, too.)
You need to be very careful to deal with them.
When you build your brand-new house in Japan, you must be extra mindful because it could be a disaster if it goes wrong.
It is widely known to the industry professionals that the laws are not necessarily protecting the consumers
Why is the owner (consumer) in so disadvantageous position ?
There are five main reasons.
1.The industry is not seeking a repeat business so they don’t look after customers well
2. High overhead cost
3. The related laws have many loopholes
4. The owner(customer) trusts the contractor (real estate agents and builders included) too much
5. Victim’s tragic stories are not widely reported in the media.
While inspecting any property is important, it becomes even more uppermost to check for defects found in second-hand property especially akiya (空き家abandoned houses)
In Japan’s real estate industry, it is generally assumed that there are four types of risks of ‘defects’ （瑕疵）the industry professionals usually recognize.
They are physical defects, psychological defects, environmental defects
and legal defect (issues).
1. What is a physical defect?
Physical flaws are situations where the building leaks, termites occur, and the earthquake resistant strength is insufficient.
Some common physical issues
For example, with 8 million akiya (Abandoned house, 空き家),
old houses are usually very affordable in Japan these days. However, those old houses could also come with a lot of issues that you may not be prepared for.
What seems like a great deal at first may ultimately cost much more than you originally thought.
It is always recommended to do your research before investing in real estate, particularly when the property in question is old property.
The following checklist will give you an idea of what issues to watch out for when buying a second-hand property especially an older home.
Due diligence always pays off.
You want to avoid common physical defects, problems with the construction structure.
Do you want to buy a house in Tokyo ? Which area do you want to buy your property ?
I believe understanding the location is a key to being successful
with buying a house (or apartment).
In Japanese big cities such as greater Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya,
people do not commute by car but by train or subway.
They get on and off train every single day.
If the number of residents increases, the station nearby flourishes and
the vibrancy is born in the town.
On the other hand, if the number of station users decreases, we could see the
recent issues like “vacant house problem”.
Empty houses problems are even becoming serious in the area of Denenchofu station, Tokyu Toyoko Line,
which has been admired as said a prestigious residential area.
This is because the wealthy people who live in Denenchofu are moving into
high-rise apartments in the center of Tokyo.
When buying real estate in Tokyo, it is extremely important to check the trend of
passengers of the nearest station.
Unlike large cities in the US and Europe, there are few business people
who commute to work by car in Tokyo.
The convenience of commuting to work and the convenience of shopping are directly
linked to the value of real estate in Tokyo.