Real Estate Japan Picture of the Day – How long is the “life” of a house in Japan?


A house being demolished in Tokyo, July 7, 2020. Photo by Scott Kouchi for Real Estate Japan

Statutory Useful Life

“Statutory useful life” is the depreciation period used to value a property for fixed asset taxes and is not the same as the actual number of years a house has been used. It is just the “useful life” of the house under Japanese tax law. This time period is sometimes referred to as the “lifespan of a house” (住宅の寿命, jyuutaku no jyuu-myo).

In Japan, for depreciation purposes, the value of a building is zero after 20 to 22 years for a wooden house; 19 to 34 years for a steel-frame structure; and 47 years for a reinforced concrete structure.

This is one reason that so many houses in Japan are demolished after a relatively short amount of time compared to other countries.

How long then is the average “life” of a house in Japan? Japan’s Ministry of Land estimates that houses in Japan are demolished after about 30 years, compared to 55 years in the United States and 77 years in the United Kingdom.

FAQs About Buying 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 “Basic Requirements for Getting a Mortgage as a Foreigner in Japan“.

How do I get a property loan as a foreigner in Japan?

Please see this article for information on: Getting a property loan as a foreigner in Japan

What is the process for buying a property in Japan?

Please see our step-by-step guide: Guide to Buying Property in Japan

See how much you can borrow and your monthly payments in yen: Yen Mortgage Loan Calculator

For information about purchase and brokerage fees: Breakdown of real estate purchase fees and taxes in Japan

Need to know: Earthquake building codes and technology in Japan

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How much is my property worth?

Real Estate Japan is pleased to offer free, no obligation appraisals for owners of property in Japan. Please click here and fill out the form: How much is my property worth?

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Seminars on Buying Property in Japan

Please see our seminar page for a current list of seminars on: how to buy a home in Japaninvesting in Japanese real estate for beginnershow to apply for permanent residency in Japanhow to sell property in Japan, and much more.