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Real Estate Market in Japan

Mar 16, 2008
Japan is regarded as the Asia Pacific region's economic driver, and hence boasts of a highly matured real estate market. Just as the United States has in use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the Japan has in use the Real Estate Information Network (REINS), which in turn was introduced in 1999.

In Japan, the real estate covers everything from residential properties to commercial and industrial properties. Included in the residential properties are single detached houses, high-end apartments, and excellent condominiums and townhouses. The commercial property market in Japan is considered the largest, after that of the US. There are a plethora of real estate properties that are spread across the major cities as well as prefectures of Japan.

One of the specialties of Japanese people is that they always like to possess new items, no matter it is car or electronic items, and hence no exception in the case of real estate properties. In other words, brand new real estate as well as properties of less than five years old is of special demand in Japan.

Real estate investment in Japan falls under two categories such as investing in real estate properties for private purposes and acquiring real estate properties solely for investment purposes. Included in the options that are most suitable for private purposes are brand new houses as well as condominiums, brand new apartments, second hand apartments with lowest rate of depreciation, and second hand houses. Options for investment purposes include both brand new and second hand apartments and houses.

The prices of property vary depending upon the nature of the property as well as the place where it is located. For instance, purchasing a new apartment or house in such sought after areas as Azabu, Akasaka, and Aoyama in Tokyo would serve as an excellent investment and could undoubtedly fetch you good returns in the form of rent. Likewise, investing in properties located in such hotspots of Central Tokyo as Roppongi, Nogizaka, and Atago, can also fetch you good profits.

Roppongi is a highly sophisticated area packed with superb housing and shopping options, restaurants, and nightclubs. No wonder why this area is popular among the foreigners. Buying a second hand house or apartment and renovating it in good condition could also yield good profits. Further, for those looking for cheaper options, it would be better to buy a property in remote areas like Hokkaido and Tohoku as well as in prefectures including Yamaguchi and Shimane.

A real estate property in Japan can be acquired by anyone. However, it would be more convenient to those investors with a long term visa. It would be even better if an investor has a permanent visa. The prime reason for this is due to difficulty in availing for loans. It is quite difficult even for a Japanese to avail loan in the country. Hence, it would be even chaotic if a foreign investor does not have proper visa and job. However, a foreign can avail loan, provided he satisfy certain conditions such as,

- If he has been living in the country for specified period and can speak the Japanese language
- If he is married to a Japanese and has children going Japanese schools
- If he has a stable job in Japan
- If he possesses a good credit history
- If he is able to provide valid reason for his stay in the country
However, an investor can easily acquire a property in the country, if he has money suffice to invest in a property in Japan.

In Japan, the laws and regulations in connection with buying and selling of real estate property is managed by the Legal Affairs Bureau, under the administration of the Ministry of Justice. According to the Japanese Civil Code, on the registration of a real estate property, the rights pertaining to its ownership or leasehold would be legally established.

A plethora of realtors as well as real estate firms are now in the scenario in order to help you find a property in Japan that goes according to your unique requirements. They provide a range of services such as market analysis, consultation, project management, asset evaluation, property management, and valuation and advisory services. In some instance, these firms even render the services of professional attorneys in order to verify the authenticity of real estate documents.
About the Author
Wantanee Khamkongkaew is an independent author evaluating and commenting on leading International Property Consultants in Asia and Greater China , especially CB Richard Ellis.
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