* Foreigners can buy a property in Japan without having special qualification.
Japan has too many houses and there are more than 8 million empty houses/rooms here (which accounts for 13% of total number of properties). Houses that are not used for a long time is called ‘akiya’ (空き家) in Japanese or ‘Empty house’ .Some home owners are virtually sitting on the empty houses doing nothing due to various reasons. And more and more individual investors are paying attention to this akiya market.
In the light of Suruga bank scandal, Japanese banks are generally tightening their lending stance for the individuals investors.
Their business with institutional investors, of course, are as usual but individuals investors are facing more challenging situation.
I am beginning to see more bogus-like hyperbole ads by rogue agents to lure the naive investors.
Please be careful and skirt such dangerous investment.
Individual investors are, in fact, shifting their eyes more towards akiya investment (abandoned house) because akiya investment does not require the large cash payment and offer the relatively attractive yield (return) . We recently spotted the following two properties in Chiba prefecture (Chiba prefecture is right next to Tokyo Metropolitan) and are happy to share the information with you.
(UR X IKEYA collaboration : IKEYA kitchen)
(UR X MUJI collaboration apartment in Kobe, Hyogo)
History and corporate structure of UR
It is worth knowing the background and character to deal with UR as they have started the operation as the government agency for housing.
Let me start with explaining the corporate structure and history of UR.
Their official name is ‘Urban Renaissance Agency’ (都市再生機構）and they are ’incorporated administrative agency’. （独立行政法人）
Officially speaking, they are not a part of the government organizations any more but still under the jurisdiction of
the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT, 国土交通省）
All senior executives are amakudari from either cabinet office or MLIT.
Its capital is 107 billion yen and its number of employee is 3200.
Here is the brief history of UR.
Between 1975 and 1981
The organization provided housing and land through large-scale
development of new residential areas around major cities, which
were suffering from housing shortages due to high population and
Representative projects include Chiba New
Town (Chiba Prefecture), Atsugi New Town (Kanagawa Prefecture)
and Izumi New Town (Osaka Prefecture).
(Okutama lake in Okutama town, Tokyo)
You can find “abandoned houses” all over Japan, due to the country’s shrinking population.
The ministry of land, infrastructure, Transport and Tourist（MLIT) reported in 2013
that about 8.2 million (about 13.5% of total) houses and apartments were empty.
In fact, this 8 million number which often catches media attention is very misleading.
It includes the rooms and houses for letting.
Taking the fact into account, there are about 2.2 million akiya ‘real empty houses’ (abandoned houses)
in the market. Still daunting number in deed.
One report said vacant land and homes could by 2040 be as big as Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido—about 83,000 sq km (32,000 sq miles), or the size of Austria.
The area is currently about 41,000 sq km, slightly bigger than Japan’s southern island of Kyushu.
Many of Japan’s 8 million abandoned homes—or akiya(空き家）—are often left empty indefinitely.
Why do we have so may abandoned houses ?