The cost of purchasing a home or property in Japan can vary widely depending on the location, size, age, and condition of the property, as well as other factors such as taxes, fees, and commissions.
As a general guideline, the average price of a single-family home in Japan is around ¥30-50 million (approximately $273,000-$455,000 USD). However, prices can be higher in popular urban areas such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.
|Average Home Prices for a 70 ~ 80 m2 Apartment in a Central Location
|70.0 million JPY
|62.2 million JPY
|47.4 million JPY
|42.6 million JPY
|37.1 million JPY
|35.5 million JPY
|35.3 million JPY
|34.2 million JPY
Depending upon numerous factors, a small apartment or condominium in Tokyo might cost around ¥50-100 million (approximately $455,000-$910,000 USD).
In comparison, a larger single-family home in a desirable area might cost ¥100 million or more (approximately $910,000 USD or more).
In addition to the purchase price of the property, buyers should also be prepared to pay additional costs such as real estate agent commissions (typically 3% of the purchase price), stamp duty (ranging from 0.4% to 4% of the purchase price), property registration fees (0.4% of the purchase price), and property taxes (1.4% of the assessed value of the property per year).
Some foreign buyers are, however, solely interested in renting out property in Japan.
Rental Yields on Investment Properties in Japan
Average rental yields in Japan can vary widely depending on the location, property type, and other factors. Here are some approximate average rental yields in different popular areas of Japan based on data from the Real Estate Economic Institute:
|Average Rents and Rental Yields for a 70 ~ 80 m2 Apartment in a Central Location
Actual yields can vary widely depending on the specific location, property type, and other factors. Additionally, rental yields may be higher or lower depending on the current market conditions, vacancy rates, and other economic factors.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Home/Property in Japan
When purchasing a home or property in Japan, there are several important factors to consider, including:
Consider the property’s proximity to transportation, schools, shopping, and other amenities. Also, consider the potential for future development in the area, as this can affect property values.
Homes in rural areas are generally cheaper than those in large cities. This is because there is less demand for housing in rural areas. Rural areas may be more difficult to access than urban areas.
Transportation options may be limited, and amenities such as grocery stores and hospitals may be further away.
Rural areas offer a more relaxed and slower-paced lifestyle, while urban areas offer more convenience and excitement.
Size and Condition
Consider the property’s size, age, and condition, as well as any repairs or renovations that may be needed. Be sure to inspect the property by a qualified professional before making an offer.
Homes in rural areas tend to be larger than in cities, as land is more readily available. Homes in rural areas may, however, be older and need more maintenance than those in cities.
Type of Ownership
A decision between purchasing freehold property, or jiyu tochi hoyuken (土地保有権) in Japanese, vs. leasehold property, or shakuchiken tochi hoyuken (借地土地保有権) in Japanese, is something to consider.
Freehold property refers to a type of ownership in which the buyer owns both the property and the land on which it is built, without any time limit on ownership. Essentially, the owner has full and permanent ownership of the property and the land on which it is situated.
On the other hand, leasehold property refers to a type of ownership in which the buyer only owns the property for a fixed period of time, typically ranging from 30 to 99 years.
The land on which the property is built is leased from the freeholder, who is the actual owner of the land. The leasehold owner is required to pay ground rent to the freeholder for the use of the land.
In terms of upfront costs, buyers can expect to pay a range of fees, including a real estate agent commission fee, a registration fee, and a stamp duty tax. The amount of these fees can vary depending on the location of the property and the purchase price.
In addition to the upfront costs, leasehold apartment owners in Japan are typically responsible for monthly maintenance fees and annual lease payments. The maintenance fees can cover various costs such as building upkeep, repair work, and management fees.
The annual lease payments can vary depending on the length of the leasehold period, but they are generally lower than the total purchase price of the property.
In some cases, leasehold ownership may offer certain advantages, such as lower initial costs, while freehold ownership may offer greater security and control over the property in the long run. However, it is important to carefully consider the terms and conditions of any leasehold or freehold property before making a purchase decision.
Leasehold property is quite common in Japan, particularly for commercial properties and apartments in urban areas. The leasehold period for residential properties in Japan is typically around 30 years, although it can be longer or shorter depending on the specific property and agreement between the parties involved.
- Financing: Consider your financing options, including the possibility of obtaining a mortgage from a Japanese bank or other lender. Be sure to factor in all of the costs associated with the purchase, including closing costs, property taxes, and insurance.
- Legal and Regulatory Issues: Consider any legal and regulatory issues that may affect the purchase, such as zoning restrictions, building codes, and property rights.
- Cultural Differences: Consider any cultural differences that may affect your experience as a property owner in Japan. For example, be aware of Japanese customs and etiquette when dealing with neighbors, local officials, and other parties involved in the purchase process.
- Resale Potential: Consider the potential resale value of the property, as well as any factors that may affect its marketability in the future. The rate of depreciation for Japanese homes can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including location, age, condition, and local market conditions. In general, older homes in Japan tend to depreciate in value more quickly than newer homes, especially those that are more than 30-40 years old. This is due in part to the fact that many older homes in Japan were constructed using traditional building methods and materials that may be less durable and less resistant to earthquake damage than modern building methods. However, it is important to note that the rate of depreciation can also be affected by factors such as maintenance, renovation, and location. Homes that are well-maintained and located in desirable areas may hold their value better over time than those that are not. It is also important to note that property values in Japan can be affected by a number of economic and demographic factors, such as population trends, interest rates, and changes in government policy.
Steps to Purchase a Home/Property in Japan
The steps necessary for purchasing a home or property as a foreigner in Japan are similar to those for Japanese citizens and include the following:
- Finding a Home or Property to Purchase: The first step is to find a property that meets your needs and budget. You can search for properties online, through real estate agents, or by attending property auctions.
- Making an Offer: Once you have found a property you like, you will need to make an offer to the seller. Your real estate agent can help you negotiate the price and other terms of the sale.
- Securing Financing: If you need financing to purchase the property, you will need to apply for a mortgage or other loan from a Japanese bank or other lender. Be prepared to provide documentation of your income, assets, and credit history.
- Conducting Due Diligence: Before finalizing the purchase, you should conduct due diligence on the property, including obtaining a property inspection and reviewing any relevant legal and regulatory documents.
You can hire a professional home inspector to get a home inspected in Japan. Many licensed home inspection companies in Japan offer comprehensive inspections of homes and properties. These inspectors will assess the property’s condition and identify any potential issues or defects that may affect the home’s safety, livability, or value.
To find a home inspector, search online or ask for recommendations from your real estate agent or other professionals involved in the home-buying process. When hiring a home inspector, it is important to verify their credentials and experience and to ask for references and examples of previous work.
During the home inspection, the inspector will visually examine the property, looking for any signs of damage, wear and tear, or other issues. They may also use specialized tools and equipment to test the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems and check for signs of water damage, mold, and pest infestation.
After the inspection, the inspector will provide you with a detailed report outlining their findings and any recommended repairs or maintenance. This information can help you make an informed decision about whether to move forward with the purchase of the property and can also be used to negotiate repairs or a lower purchase price.
- Closing the Sale: Once all of the terms of the sale have been agreed upon, you will need to sign a contract and pay a deposit. The sale will be finalized once the remaining balance is paid off and the property is transferred into your name.
- Registering the Property: You must register the property with the local government office and pay applicable taxes and fees.
- Moving in: You can move into your new home or property once the sale is complete.
The bottom line is that this is one case when the saying “Don’t do this at home” applies, meaning do not attempt to purchase a home or property in Japan as a foreigner.
It is always advisable to seek the advice of a qualified real estate agent, attorney, and/or financial advisor with experience in handling transactions for foreigners.
With the right partner, you can find just the right property in Japan, regardless of nationality.