Some people have been contacting me about investing in property in Japan.

Anyone can buy property in Japan, regardless of nationality. I have a Japanese friend who complains how it is difficult to buy in Australia but I could buy anything in Japan.

Finance is the most difficult part. I was very interested in looking for investment properties last year. I am not a permanent resident here in Japan. I heard this helps a lot and it also helps if you have a Japanese husband/wife.

They have court sales here for people who can’t pay off their loans. You can pick up some bargains.

There are 2 good sites that have information (sorry it’s all in Japanese).

http://bit.sikkou.jp/
http://www.athome.co.jp/

There is little information in English. Apartments pretty much only go down in price here. A new apartment depreciates like a new car. A house older than 30 years is considered to have no value by the banks. I suggest looking for houses rather than apartments, because I am sure land values will pick up again one day.

The other problem with apartments is that the body corp type fees (kanri-hi) can be quite high and you usually have to pay into a sinking fund. It is a shame but few people in Japan are interested in real-estate as an investment. It gets little media attention.

There are a number of US companies that are buying up golf courses here. Ripplewood is one company that has been in the news a bit.

Having said all that Japan might be the next best place for cash positive places and maybe I could launch a new career as a spotter here in Japan!

I can write about this more and do some more research if anyone is interested.