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The Next Chapter in the Suruga Bank Forgery Scandal

By Jeff Wynkoop The Suruga Bank share house forgery scandal is entering a new chapter. A second share house operator and client of Suruga Bank called “Golden Gain”(ゴールデンゲイン)applied for bankruptcy protection on May 23rd. This follows the April 2018 bankruptcy... More

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What you should know before buying a vacant house in Japan

By Jeff Wynkoop Buying a vacant house in Japan and fixing it up is the dream of many city dwellers. With the price for a new condo at all-time highs in most Tokyo neighborhoods, many people are considering purchasing a... More

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Is 2018 the Time to Buy a Home in Japan? Big Changes Coming to the Market

By Jeff Wynkoop The construction boom for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is in full swing, and the asking price for newly-built residences in central Tokyo keeps going up like so many new cranes dotting the city. As new home prices... More

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Airbnb in Japan: Local Governments Slap Strict Restrictions on Rentals

By Jeff Wynkoop In June 2018, the new national law authorizing Airbnb-style letting of private rooms in homes (the so-called Minpaku Law) will come into force. Currently there are two options for running a minpaku legally: (1) a minpaku can... More

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Best Neighborhoods to Buy a Condo in Tokyo? Tastes Are Changing

By Jeff Wynkoop In real estate, everyone knows the old bromide that location means everything. Traditionally in Tokyo, the closer you were to the center of town (considered to be the Imperial Palace or roughly the area around Marunouchi-Uchisaiwaicho), the... More

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Explanation of Important Matters: What to Know Before You Buy Property in Japan

By Jeff Wynkoop In this article, we discuss what you need to know about the Explanation of Important Matters (重要事項説明書), the legal disclosure document meant to provide buyers with the material information you should know before finalizing your property purchase.... More

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Questions to Ask When Buying a Condominium in Japan

By Jeff Wynkoop In this article, we discuss specific issues relating to buying a condominium in Japan. For an overview of the process of buying a property, please see: Guide to Buying a Home in Japan. Buying a condo is... More

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Building a House in Japan: Key Things to Know About

By Jeff Wynkoop There are a lot of options for those wanting to custom-build a house in Japan, and a lot of hurdles to overcome. In a previous article, we discussed how much it costs to build a house in... More

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Guide to Buying a Home in Japan

By Jeff Wynkoop In most respects, the process of buying property in Japan is very similar to buying real estate in any other country. However, the actual process can be opaque and time-consuming, especially if you do not speak or... More

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Expiration of “Productive Green Areas” in 2022: Impact on Commercial Land Prices

By Jeff Wynkoop Have you ever come across a rice paddy wedged in between office buildings in a Japanese city? Most likely you were looking at a “Productive Green Area.” There are over 63,000 of these parcels of land scattered... More

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Highlights of the 2017 Rosenka Roadside Land Value Survey of Japan

By Jeff Wynkoop The National Tax Agency recently published its 2017 Roadside Land Values (路線価 or rosenka), and the key takeaway is that the national average price for land went up for the second straight year. Last year’s 0.2% growth... More

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Prices for Condos in Japan Hit 11-year High Driven by Foreign Buyers

By Jeff Wynkoop Prices for investment condos continue to rise unabated. According to a leading real estate online site, the average per room price for condos in Japan was 15.5 million JPY in the April-June period, an increase of 3.8%... More

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Cost of buying real estate in Japan: Breakdown of purchase fees and taxes

By Jeff Wynkoop Prior to making an offer to buy property in Japan, it is important to have a good estimate of your total out-of-pocket costs, and understand when the costs will arise in the buying process. Usually when buying... More

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What interest rate can I get for a home mortgage loan in Japan?

By Jeff Wynkoop Rates for fixed-rate home loans in Japan are still generally very low, even though the majority of banks raised their base rate for several types of loans in June. Main street banks currently offer an average rate... More

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Airbnb-Style Rentals in Japan: Majority of Properties in Legal Grey Zone

By Jeff Wynkoop The Japanese government has been unable to verify the legality of 53% of the 15,000 properties it surveyed and 30% of properties were found to be unlicensed. This is according to a recent government survey meant to ascertain... More

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Where is the Tokyo New Condo Market Headed 2017 to 2020: Forecast

Jeff Wynkoop Average sales prices of newly-built condominiums in Tokyo’s 23 Wards are forecast to continue trending upward through 2020, albeit at a slower pace, according to a recent report by Real Estate Economic Institute (JREI). JREI also predicts that the... More

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Residential Land Prices in Japan Inch Up Nationally in 2016: Masking Wide Disparities

By Jeff Wynkoop For the first time since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the average price of Japanese residential land rose last year on a national basis. This is according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s annual kouji... More

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Getting a Home Loan in Japan as a Foreigner

By Jeff Wynkoop Financing is available for foreigners buying property in Japan, depending on your residence status, income, and work history. Below is an overview of the visa status and work requirements needed to apply for a property loan, which... More

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Sales of Pre-Owned Residential Properties in Tokyo Hit Historic Highs

By Jeff Wynkoop Sales of pre-owned condos and detached houses in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area were up for the second consecutive year in 2016, hitting historic highs. This is according to a recent report (in Japanese) on 2016 real estate market... More

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A Mini-Bubble Brewing in Japan’s Residential Apartment Market

By Jeff Wynkoop There are signs a mini-bubble may be forming in Japan due to the sharp increase in the number of new apartment loans handed out over the last few years. アパートローン(apaato rōn, ‘apartment loans’ also known in English... More