Buying a Home in Japan? Don’t Forget to Think About Resale Value

Reselling your property involves a different set of considerations than your initial search for living space.  Nice, newer condos within a ten-minute walk of the nearest station have consistently proven to hold or grow in value in Tokyo. Currently, the... More


Important Questions to Ask When Buying a House in Japan

Whether you are looking to buy a freestanding house or a condominium in a high-rise building in Japan, the first question to ask is always the same: what is the purpose of your purchase? Is the property going to serve... More


Japanese Condominium Law Slated for Major Overhaul

The Japanese government is planning to revise its law on condominiums—Act No. 69 of 1962: “Law Concerning Sectional Ownership of Buildings” (Japanese)—to make it easier for homeowners’ associations to gain approval for large-scale renovations of buildings. There are hundreds of... More


What is the state of the Tokyo new condominium market and where is it likely headed?

By Jeff Wynkoop March 31 is the end of the fiscal year for a huge majority of companies in Japan. Looking back at the last year, we saw the Official Land Prices (koji chika) for residential zones in Tokyo’s 23... More


What are the main factors affecting home prices in Tokyo in 2019? — Part 2

By Jeff Wynkoop This is part two of a two-part series on the main factors affecting home prices in Tokyo this year. In part one, we covered: The Kuroda Effect Location and the 3-Part Marketplace Importance of Proximity to the Station... More


What are the main factors affecting home prices in Tokyo in 2019? — Part 1

By Jeff Wynkoop This is part one of a two-part series on the main factors affecting home prices in Tokyo this year. The Kuroda Effect Location and the 3-Part Marketplace Importance of Proximity to the Station Olympic Effect Consumption Tax... More


Getting a Variable Rate Home Loan in Japan? Beware the 5-Year Rule

By Jeff Wynkoop Mortgage rates in Japan are historically low, and a majority of borrowers don’t think interest rates are going to go up any time soon. In its April 2019 meeting, the Bank of Japan was clear in announcing... More


Top 3 Factors That Affect a Building’s Earthquake Resistance: What to know before you buy a home in Japan

By Jeff Wynkoop Most buyers in Japan are aware of the importance of assessing earthquake risk before buying a home here. As the events of March 11, 2011 and the earthquake of June 18th, 2018 in Osaka again showed us,... More


The Japan Real Estate Loan Scandal Grows: How Many Mini-Suruga Banks Are Out There?

By Jeff Wynkoop Following the recent Suruga Bank scandal, another Japanese financial institution is suspected of giving out bogus real estate loans to meet internal sales goals. On Oct. 31st, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) announced that it was going... More


Japanese Govt to Make All Past Real Estate Sale Price Data Public For First Time

By Jeff Wynkoop The big news is finally here! The Ministry of Land, Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism (the “MLIT”) has decided that it will create a record of important transaction data for all existing real estate properties in Japan, including... More


Lowering the Tax Basis of your Condo for Japanese Inheritance Tax Purposes

By Jeff Wynkoop The National Tax Agency (“NTA”) recently published its 2018 Roadside Land Values (路線価 or rosenka) for calculating inheritance and gift tax when ownership in land is transferred, and values were up 0.7% on average nationwide in the... More


Variable Rate Mortgages in Japan Hit New All-Time High

By Jeff Wynkoop The number of people taking out variable rate mortgage loans in Japan has hit a new all-time high. In the second half of the fiscal year 2017, 56% of all new mortgages were variable rate loans, which... More


Why the Japanese Government Was Right to Regulate AirBnB in Japan

By Jeff Wynkoop Recently some commentators have been taking the Japanese authorities to task for how they dealt with implementation of the June 15th Minpaku law. They say poor planning and heavy-handed regulation led to thousands of foreigners losing their... More


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


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


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


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


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


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


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