A view of Tokyo.

2020 real estate trends in Japan

Investing in real estate is a good idea no matter where you live and where you are investing. And Japan is probably one of the best places to invest in a home. Japan is the only country in the Asia-Pacific region with zero restrictions on foreign property ownership. This means that people from anywhere in the world can purchase property in Japan. And it is exactly why this is the region’s largest real-estate property investment market. And if you were thinking about investing in Japan whether you live there or not, I think that it is an amazing idea for plenty of reasons. But before you actually invest or start renting in Japan, you have to know more about the real estate market trends in Japan of 2020. And that is exactly what I am here to tell you more about.

Renting a home in Japan in 2020

Renting a home is a part of the real estate market too and I want to tell you more about it. If living in Japan or planning on moving to Japan this year, you’ll probably start off by renting a home until you purchase one. The median rent price for a one-bedroom apartment that is 20-40 square meters large is somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 yen. This means it will cost you around $500 to rent an apartment anywhere in Japan. This isn’t a big price to pay considering you are living in Japan. But this doesn’t apply to Tokyo. As one of the biggest, most popular, and most populated cities, Japan is much more expensive than the rest of the country which you probably already assumed. To rent an apartment of the earlier mentioned size in Tokyo, you would need around 100,000 yen per month which is around $900. And that is of course if you manage to find an apartment in the Tokyo real estate market.

Tokyo at night.
Renting in Tokyo can be very expensive.

Renting an office

If you were planning on relocating or expanding your business to Japan, you are interested in reading about renting office spaces in Japan. A good moving company to hire when relocating is Kokusai Express Japan but don’t plan on moving your business to Tokyo. Tokyo has a very tight supply-demand balance when it comes to office spaces. There are large numbers of businesses in Tokyo already and you’ll have a hard time finding an office space. But if you somehow do manage to find one, you won’t have to worry about the rent prices increasing. That is not very likely to happen in Tokyo. But I can’t say the same for other cities in the country. Office rent prices are rising and will continue to do so in the rest of the country. And it is only because the people who don’t manage to find office spaces in Tokyo decide to rent somewhere else. And have in mind that renting an office space costs much more than renting a home everywhere in the world.

Modern buildings in Tokyo.
Office spaces in Tokyo are hard to find.

Buying a house in Japan

The next thing regarding real estate trends in Japan I want to tell you more about is buying a home in Japan. As a lot of people are interested in investing in Japan, this is what I am going to talk more about. When purchasing a house or land in central Tokyo, you’ll find that only 30% of the price you are paying is actually the cost of the house itself. The other 70% you are paying for the land your house is on. But if you decide to purchase outside of Tokyo, it won’t be like so. The land is much cheaper in outer suburbs and the rest of the country.

But the price also depends on the type of house you are purchasing and its condition. If the house you want to buy is very old and a bit run down, you will mostly be paying for land no matter where in Japan you are purchasing this house. And if it is a newly built home, you will of course pay much more.

A house in Japan.
Buying a house in Japan is not as expensive as you might think.

Buying an apartment 

When purchasing apartments in Japan, land price is something you don’t have to think about. The price per square meter for an apartment in the city center is on average around 950,000 yen. This means that you’ll pay around $900 per square meter. And if you are thinking about buying a 50 square meter in the city center, you will pay around $45,000. This really isn’t a large amount of money. This is why I think investing in real estate in Japan is much better than renting. And if you don’t want to live in the city center, the price is much lower. Almost half the price lower. 

These prices do not apply to Tokyo. Buying an apartment in Tokyo is much more expensive. And because a lot of people have actually started moving away from Japan and Japan’s population is decreasing, finding an apartment is becoming much easier. 

Things to ask before you invest in real estate

Now that you know more about the real estate trends in Japan, I want to tell you about some of the things you have to pay attention to before buying. These are some of the things I believe you need to ask your real estate agent before you decide to purchase a home:

  • Is the street the home is in private or public?
  • How wide is the street?
  • Is any part of the land designed for future road planning?
  • Are there any defects to the home?

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