Happy new year 2019 ! Year of Boar.
New year has just begun and I would like to quickly review the market using some statistics.
The data always tells you the fact. How to read the data is a key for success.
It is too early to know if housing is in another bubble in Japan (I don’t think so)
It will depend on what happens with the global economy. Unfortunately, bubbles are only recognized with 100 percent certainty
in 20/20 hindsight.
The national average standard price of land
According to the government announcement, the national average standard price of land (基準地価) published in September 2018
by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, land lots for all uses excluding forest lands nationwide
went up by 0.1% compared with the previous year, rising for the first time in 27
years since 1991. The average rate of residential areas was down 0.3% nationwide, falling for 27
consecutive years, but the rate of declines shrank 0.3% from the previous yearRead more
Interested in high-performance Akiya (空き家, empty house or abandoned house) investment in Japan ?
Here are what you should know. If you are considering buying a akiya house, you need to know the basic knowledge of akiya investment.
There are lots of things you should know about before ever considering purchasing akiya property.
It is in your best interest to educate yourself about akiya to avoid getting into a situation that you regret.
Buying akiya can be quite useful and comfortable, but only if they are properly searched and if you share the same goals with your agent.Some investors find out akiya investment where they have purchased is not what they expected. In many cases, you’ll be disappointed to find out that the renovation cost of akiya is very expensive. There are a few options in akiya investment.But before I get into details, I want to warn you that I can’t teach you how to get rich overnight by akiya investment or find you a dream
akiya house for free near the ocean in Tokyo area. Unfortunately no house is free in Japan.
* 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.
* 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.
JLL-Japan (JLL is an American professional services and investment management company specializing in real estate) recently held the conference in Tokyo with 400 participants from 250 companies.
JLL reported very bullish news about Tokyo market as follows:
“Tokyo overtook London as the world’s busiest real estate market in the first quarter of 2018, with mega-deals and an unusually positive economic outlook driving demand.
Investment volumes in the Japanese capital more than doubled to US$9.1 billion in the three months to March (2017: US$4.3 billion), just beating New York (US$9 billion) and way ahead of third-placed London (US$5.9 billion).
Global deal volumes rose 15 percent to US$165 billion, making the start of 2018 the biggest quarter for commercial real estate deals since 2007. Asia Pacific transactions rose 34 percent to US$40 billion.”
Tokyo will continue to see the many office construction sites till 2020 and it would make the rental growth slow but the rents have been steady and are still rising.
According to a report by the prominent Japanese real estate consulting firm ‘Sanki shoji’, the vacancy rate of offices in upscale locations in Tokyo as of September 2018 stands at only 2.33 percent (down 0.12 percent from the previous month) and the rents have been steadily rising in last twelve months.
（Kashiwa station, Chiba)
Do you want to know the best buy places to own a condo unit in Japan ?
Toyokeizai, one of the renowned business magazines in Japan
recently featured the unique real estate (condo unit for home) information in Japan.
The magazine picked up some best buy railways stations in greater Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya to own for your home.
The ranking is based on unique method of PER (Price Earning Ratio).
This particular PER is used to calculate the length (years) to pay back the property price
(new 3 bed room unit with 70 m2) if you rent out.
For example, Read more
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.
Here is an idea worth considering. Imagine being able to get Japan’s new green card only in a year.
Japan needs more skilled foreign workers.
To attract more foreign workers, Japanese government relaxed requirements for permanent residency (so-called green card) last April (2018)
Before relaxing the requirement, high skilled professional (HSP) workers had to stay in Japan for at least five years before applying for green card, but now just one year is required.
In fact, it is the fastest green card system in the developed countries.
Some pundits are saying relaxed law will bring more foreign high skilled workers but whether it will be a game-changer remains to be seen.
Japan is also said to be a tough country for foreign workers to live due to the very unique traditions such as corporate culture and seniority system, which is another hurdle to clear even after obtaining the green card.
In 2012, Japan introduced a point system for skilled workers. The points are given based on individual backgrounds, including business experience, income, Japanese-language fluency and academic degrees. The system is intended to give preferential status to such skilled workers, including a shortened path for permanent residency. When the system was enacted, those who had 70 points or more could apply for green card after five years. Normally, it takes 10 years to apply for the status.
There are many apartment buildings which are failing in the their management in Japan.If you live in the apartment buildings you have to be cautiously attentive how your building is managed.
What about the property for the investment ?
KENBIYA (major Japanese property web site) recently wrote an interesting story about the management of the residential buildings (both for living and investment)
As an investor, perhaps the management of the building does not seem to be your business but I have to warn you that actually the management of many residential buildings for the investment is more likely to
But Why ?
The reason is very simple. Owners (investors) don’t care because they don’t live there.
In some cases monthly management fee (管理費）is not paid by many owners, management fee (fund) is spent improperly. In some cases someone took the money and run away.
Serious trouble of the property for investment that were built the bubble period.
One of the relatively common examples is the an apartment in Tokyo, which is close to the city center.
These buildings (usually with units of studios) were built as a tax saving measure for salaried workers in the bubble period.