Investing in Japanese Real Estate through Mortgage Property Auctions: What Foreign Investors Need to Know

Investing in Japanese Real Estate: What Foreign Investors Need to Know

Japan is a country with a rich history and culture, and its real estate market is no exception.

With its unique blend of modernity and tradition,

Japan offers a wide range of investment opportunities for foreign investors.

However, investing in Japanese real estate can be a complex process,

and it is important to understand the legal and

cultural nuances before making an investment.

As a real estate agent based in Tokyo serving foreign investors,

I have seen first-hand the potential for growth and success

in the Japanese real estate market.

In this article, I will share some key information t

hat foreign investors should know before investing in Japanese real estate.


Understanding the Legal System

One of the most important things to understand

before investing in Japanese real estate is the legal system.

Japan has a civil law system, which means that the law is primarily

based on written codes and statutes.

This is different from common law systems,

such as those found in the United States and the United Kingdom,

where the law is primarily based on judicial decisions and precedents.

In Japan, there are several laws and regulations that govern real estate transactions.

For example, the Civil Code sets out the basic rules

for contracts, property rights, and other legal matters.

There are also specific laws that regulate real estate transactions,

such as the Building Lots and Buildings Transaction Business Act

and the Real Estate Specified Joint Enterprise Act.

It is important for foreign investors to understand these laws

and regulations before investing in Japanese real estate.

Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent

or attorney can help ensure that your investment is legally sound.


Cultural Differences

In addition to understanding the legal system, it is also important

to be aware of cultural differences when investing in Japanese real estate.

Japan has a unique culture that can impact the way business is conducted.

For example, in Japan, it is common for parties to engage in lengthy negotiations

before reaching an agreement.

This can be different from other countries

where negotiations may be more direct and straightforward.

It is important to be patient and respectful during these negotiations

to build trust and establish a good working relationship.

Another cultural difference to be aware of is the importance of

hierarchy and seniority in Japanese society.

In business dealings, it is important to show respect to

those who are older or more senior than you.

This can include using formal language and bowing when greeting someone.

Case Study: Mortgage Property Auctions

To illustrate some of the complexities of investing in Japanese real estate,

let’s look at a recent case involving a mortgage property auction.

In this case, a real estate company acquired a single-family home at auction

for resale purposes. However,

They discovered that the previous owner had rented out the property

and that the actual occupant was a subtenant who had sublet it without permission.

They demanded immediate eviction from the subtenant,

but they (the occupant) claimed that there was

a six-month grace period for eviction and refused to vacate.

This situation raised several legal questions

about the rights of the purchaser, tenant, and subtenant.


Under Japanese law, if mortgaged real estate subject to lease

is put up for auction, if a lease agreement was concluded before mortgage rights

were established and delivery was received by tenant,

then tenant’s lease rights take precedence over mortgage rights

and tenant can continue to occupy. However,

if tenant acquired lease rights after mortgage rights were established

and has been using or earning income from them before commencement

of auction proceedings, they are protected by six-month grace period

for delivery and do not have to deliver auctioned property to purchaser

(Civil Code Article 395(1)).

In this case, it was determined that no grace period for eviction

was granted to subtenants who had not obtained consent from their landlords (Civil Code Article 612).

As such, the real estate company was able to request eviction from the subtenant.

This case illustrates some of the complexities of investing

in Japanese real estate.


It is important for foreign investors to work

with knowledgeable professionals who can help navigate these complexities.



Investing in Japanese real estate can be a rewarding experience for foreign investors.

However, it is important to understand the legal system and cultural differences

before making an investment.

Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent or attorney can help ensure

that your investment is successful.

I hope this article has provided some useful information

for foreign investors looking to invest in Japanese real estate.

If you have any further questions or would like more information about investing in Japan,

please don’t hesitate to contact us.



Investing in Japanese real estate can be a great opportunity for foreign investors.

However, it is important to understand the legal and cultural nuances before making an investment.

Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent or

attorney can help ensure that your investment is legally sound and culturally appropriate.

If you are a foreign investor looking to invest in Japan,

don’t hesitate to take the first step.

Contact a real estate agent or attorney today to learn

more about the opportunities available to you.

With the right guidance and support,

you can successfully navigate the complexities of the Japanese real estate market

and make a profitable investment.

So why wait? Take action today and start your journey

towards success in the Japanese real estate market!

Source: 抵当不動産を競落した買受人は、無断で入居している転使用借人に対し、競落物件の引渡しを求めることができるか。

Understanding Key Clauses in Japanese Real Estate: A Guide for Foreign Investors


Hello, dear readers and investors!


As a real estate agent based in Tokyo, I have the privilege of assisting numerous foreign investors

in navigating the intricacies of the Japanese property market.

Today, I’d like to share some insights on a critical aspect of real estate transactions in Japan

– the extension of settlement dates and loan cancellation dates in sales contracts.


This topic is particularly relevant for those planning to finance their property purchase through a housing loan.


In the realm of real estate transactions, it’s common for buyers to finance their purchases through housing loans. In Japan,

when a buyer opts for a housing loan, a specific clause, known as the housing loan clause (or loan cancellation clause),

is typically included in the sales contract.

This clause provides a safety net for buyers,

allowing them to cancel the contract if they fail to secure loan approval from their financial institution.

Now, let’s consider a scenario where the buyer’s financial arrangements are delayed,

leading to an agreed extension of the settlement date (the payment date) with the seller.

A question that often arises in such situations is – does the extension of the settlement date also imply an extension of the loan cancellation date?

Read more

Safeguard Your Investment: Understanding Bait Listings in the Japanese Real Estate Market






Do you know ‘Otori-bukken’ ?


Truth be told,


We have to admit there are a number of


shady and dishonest real estate agents in Japan.



As a foreign investor considering investment opportunities


in the Japanese real estate market,


it’s crucial to be aware of the tactics some unscrupulous agents



employ to lure potential clients.


Read more

Navigating Withholding Obligations for Foreign Investors: A Comprehensive Guide for Buyers and Landlords


Tax implications: When a non-resident sells

or rents out real estate in Japan




(Case study)


In Japan, taxes are levied on residents (referred to as “residents”) regardless of nationality.


In this case, the income subject to taxation includes not only income generated within Japan


but also income from around the world.

Read more

Japanese Real Estate Essentials: City Planning Law for the residential districts.

The city planning law, which was created by the ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, exist to regulate urban development.

The law divides all Japan into mainly two parts; city planning area which is regulated by the city planning law and the non-city planning area which is not regulated by this law.

The law defines 12 zoning districts within urbanization promotion areas.

Of these zoning districts, three have a primary effect on real estate projects residential district, commercial districts and industrial district.

Specific regulations for each district such as allowable use, building coverage ratio and floor area ratio are defined by the building standards law.

When you buy a property in Japan, it is very important to know which district your property exists.

Because each district is highly regulated by the specifics of city planning law(and building standards law)

and such regulations always affect the neighbourhood.

The law regulates the hight, allowable use, building coverage ratio, floor area ratio, type of the business and the size of the business and so on.

For example, you can not open a restaurant in category 1 low-rise exclusive residential districts.

Read more

Charming resort mansions in Yuzawa area, Niigata?: Think twice

(Naeba ski resort in Niigata)

Sparkling ?

There are many resort condos in Yuzawa in Niigata for sale at a very reasonable price.

I found an interesting article about resort condos and would like to share the summary with you today.


After the burst of the bubble, the residents of the condominiums became elderly. 

Yuzawa Town, Niigata Prefecture, the Joetsu Shinkansen entered Ueno in 1985, and the entire Kanetsu Expressway was opened, becoming a tourist destination that attracts 10 million people annually. 

You can enjoy skiing and hot springs effortlessly from the Tokyo metropolitan area. 

In the bubble economy, 58 resort condominiums were built by 1993 with a total of approximately 15,000 units. 

According to real estate information company Tokyo Kantei, there are about 80,000 resort condominiums nationwide.

Yuzawa accounts for close to 20%.


However, the ski boom has gone, and prices have fallen due to oversupply.

About 30 years since the bubble, condominium users have also changed significantly.

According to the town, out of over 8000 townspeople as of April 2016, more than 1000 people registered the current address in apartments.

It accounts for 12% of the townspeople.

Read more

Real estate investment in Japan : Beautiful Stories, Hard Realities

Beautiful Stories, Hard Realities

Real estate agents/realtors are always holding seminars in Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere, luring in amateur investors (for Japanese investors so far)

and telling them beautiful stories of how this person or that person got rich in the property market.

I never exaggerate such successes in my seminars, although of course they do exist.

Instead, I always tell the audience true stories from my experience and those of other clients and inexperienced investors, and in particular about the mistakes made.

Read more

Buying a very affordable condominium in Japan ?: Do the due diligence

Irresistible ?

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.

Read more

How the commission for agents (realtors) works in Japan ?: Risks you should watch (YouTube)

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”.

Read more