Buying Property in Japan

What can you buy in Japan’s regional cities for $200,000?

In June, we continued to see an upward trend in inquiries for residential and investment properties in Tokyo’s 23 wards and in regional cities, such as Nagoya and Fukuoka.

Below, we give just a few examples of what is available in the regional cities of Nagoya, Sendai, Fukuoka, and Sapporo in the $200,000 (¥23 million) range.

This is a price point that is below the average in regional areas and significantly below the average sales price of re-sale apartments and houses in the Tokyo 23 Wards. For more information about average sales prices in Tokyo, please scroll to the bottom of the article.

Let’s take a look at some examples what is currently on offer in Japan’s regional markets.

2BR House For Sale in Nagoya

Where: Nishi Ward, Nagoya, the capital of Aichi Prefecture, on Honshu’s Pacific coast. Land and property prices in the city’s central districts have been surging in recent years due to the planned opening of the magnetic levitation train line. With the opening of the Linear Chuo Shinkansen line in 2027, travel time between Tokyo and Nagoya will be cut to 40 minutes. The second leg of the line will connect to Nagoya and Osaka and is expected to open in 2045.

In 2016, Aichi Prefecture had the second highest population of registered foreigners in Japan, behind Tokyo and ahead of Osaka Prefecture.

From the Nagoya City Guide: “Many foreigners who have lived in both Tokyo and Nagoya will tell you that Nagoya offers everything Tokyo does, only on a much more livable, convenient, and affordable scale.”

Please see the Nagoya City Guide for more about living in Nagoya.

2BR house for sale in Nagoya. Please click on the photo for the full listing, more photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

Price: ¥22,980,000 ($202,000)

Size and Layout: 78-sqm 3DK (2BR-bedroom)

Floors:  Two

Land Area: N/A

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 2000

Structure: Wood

Notes: For a general comparison, Tokyo Kantei reports that in June 2017, the average listing price for a 100-sqm re-sale house for sale in Nagoya was ¥34,810,000 or ¥348,000 per-sqm. For comparison, the per-sqm price for this property is ¥294,615.

Renovated 3BR Apartment For Sale in Nagoya

3BR 3SLDK Apartment For Sale Nagoya Japan

3BR apartment for sale in Chikusa Ward Nagoya. Please click on the photo for the full listing, interor photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

Price: ¥24,500,000($215,000) — A little over our $200,000 budget!

Size and Layout: 85-sqm 3SLDK (3-bedroom)

Floor:  7th-floor of 10-story building

Land Area: N/A

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 1973, has recently been renovated

Notes: This unit is a 13-min walk from Hoshigaoka Station on the Higashiyama Line.

For more Nagoya listings please see: Apartments for sale in Nagoya

3BR House For Sale Sendai

Where: Seikaen, Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi refecture. Sendai is the capital of Miyagi prefecture and the largest city in Japan’s Tohoku region. The city has a population of about 1 million. Coastal areas of the city suffered extensive damage in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Great strides have been made in recovery, but the city is still rebuilding.

A building in Kokubun-cho San-Chome Aoba Ward, Sendai. Photo credit: kokubuncho3chome.com

3BR house for sale in Sendai. Please click on the photo for the full listing, interior photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

Price: ¥17,800,000 (($156,000)

Size and Layout: 101-sqm 3LDK (3BR-bedroom)

Floors:  Two

Land Area: N/A

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 1986

Structure: Wood

Notes: Residential neighborhood near a large park (Kuryu 1-Go Ryokuchi Park). For a general comparison, The average contracted sales price of a detached re-sale house sold in Sendai in May 2017 was ¥21,750,000, according to REINS (in Japanese), a year-on-year increase of 0.7%.

2BR Apartment for Sale in Fukuoka

Where: Fukuoka, the capital of Fukuoka Prefecture, is located on the northern shore of Kyushu. It has been one of Japan’s important harbor city for centuries because of its proximity to the Asian mainland. Flight time to Seoul is about 1.5 hours, to Taipei about 2.5 hours, and to Hong Kong about 3.5 hours.

In the last few years, Fukuoka has seen a surge in buyers from overseas and other parts of Japan looking for higher yields, as yields in Tokyo have declined.

2BR (2LDK) apartment for sale in Fukuoka. Please click on the photo for the full listing, more photos, and to inquiry directly to the agent.

Price: ¥21,600,000 ($189,500)

Size and Layout: 65-sqm 2LDK (2-bedroom)

Floor:  7th-floor of 10-story building

Land Area: N/A

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 1974

Notes: This unit is a 17-min walk from Beppu Station on the Nanakuma Line.

For more listings in Fukuoka, please see: Apartments for sale in Fukuoka

In the news: The island of Kyushu has experienced heavy rain and flooding over the last few days. The death toll from flooding and mudslides caused by severe downpours rose to 11 on Friday (July 7th), as heavy rain continued in parts of the region damaging houses and roads.

Whole Apartment Building For Sale in Sapporo — Investment Property

Where: 8-min walk from Kikusui Stn on the Tozai Line, Shiroishi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido. Sapporo is the capital of Japan’s northernmost prefecture, known for its fresh air, beautifully mild summers and snowy winters.

A large ice sculpture is illuminated for the Sapporo Snow Festival (2016). Photo credit: y.ganden via Flickr.

Whole apartment building for sale in Sapporo. Please click on the photo for the full listing, interior photos, and to inquire directly to the agent.

Price: ¥23,000,000 ($202,000)

Size and Layout: 225-sqm whole apartment building with 10-units

Floors:  Two

Land Area: 148-sqm

Occupancy: 8 of 10 units occupied

Estimated Gross Yield: 12.15%

Land rights: Freehold

Year Built: 1985

Please see more Sapporo listings here: Apartments for sale in Sapporo

Below we cover FAQs on buying a property in Japan

FAQs on Buying a Property in Japan

Can a Foreigner Buy Property in Japan?

Yes. You can buy property in Japan regardless of your nationality or country of origin. There are also no residency requirements for buying real estate in Japan. Securing financing as a resident foreigner is more complicated. For info on financing, please see Getting a Home Loan in Japan as a Foreigner and Mortgage Calculator for Home Mortgage Loans in Japan.

How much does a house or apartment cost in Tokyo?

  • Tokyo 23 Wards Average Listing Price: In April 2017, the average listing price for a 70-sqm re-sale condo in the Tokyo 23 Wards was ¥53,230,000, a year-on-year increase of 1.3%, according to Tokyo Kantei (in Japanese). Based on this, the average listing price per sqm would be ¥760,428.
  • Central 6 Wards Average Listing Price: Reflecting their proximity to convenient transportation, shopping and business hubs, and other urban amenities, properties in the central six wards (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Bunkyo), have a much higher average listing price, at ¥73,030,000, a year-on-year increase of 1.8%. Based on this, the average listing price per sqm would be ¥1,043,285.

Average contracted sales prices were lower than average listing prices:

What about taxes and fees?

Taxes will add about 6% to 7% to the purchase price. Please see this article for a detailed explanation of Japanese real estate taxes, including annual fixed-asset (property) taxes to plan for.

Brokerage Fees

If you use an agent to buy a property, you will have to a brokerage fee (commission) of 3% of the purchase price plus 60,000 yen plus consumption tax (currently 8%).

For a detailed explanation of upfront costs and down payment, please see: Purchase fees and taxes for buying property in Japan.

What about monthly expenses?

If you buy an apartment in Japan, you should also set aside building management fees, in addition to the repair reserve fees mentioned above.

Building management fees pay for the day-to-day running of the building, such as common area maintenance and the salary of the on-site building manager, if there is one. The building’s management association, consisting of the owners of the building, set the building management fees.

You may also be interested in: Home Buyer Profile: French-Japanese Family Buy Their Almost Dream Home in Tokyo

Top Photo: Nagoya