Someone sent me an email about investing in property in Japan, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts.
– Virtually impossible to get a housing loan, without a permanent resident visa. Loans not available for investment property.
– Language problems and no understanding of law in Japan. Even Japanese have trouble understanding the laws and regulations relating to property. I have lived in Japan for nine years and feel it would be frustrating having to deal with lawyers/banks/agents all in Japanese.
– Few people in Japan see property as a good investment like NZ and Australia, which I believe partly keeps prices from moving up.
– Property tax potentially high.
– High maintenance fees on apartments.
– Earthquakes. I have heard it is difficult to get earthquake insurance.
– Lack of proper government controls on building developments and construction. Currently there is a big scandal in Japan about this matter and they are pulling down buildings that were just complete.
– Declining population and almost neglible immigration, which is having no effect on the construction industry – especially in Tokyo.
– Buildings have no value after 30 years.
Sorry for all of the negatives. Here are some positives:
– Market very slowly increasing in value urban areas. Probably at the bottom now.
– Yen quite low.
– Land retains it value well.
– Some great deals in foreclosures market.
I heard Australians are buying property in Niseko, Hokkaido – a famous ski resort here.
Okinawa is also a beautiful place and could be worth looking into.