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How much is a house in Japan? Price Quotes & Key Points for Buying Real Estate

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Detached Houses in Japan

Many people who have lived in Japan for many years or have a yearning for Japan may think that they would like to buy a house in Japan and live there.

This article provides such persons with detailed information on the price quotations for detached houses and condominiums in Japan, as well as points of caution for foreigners purchasing houses and other real estate in Japan. By deepening your understanding of the housing situation in Japan and the characteristics of real estate transactions, you should be able to proceed more smoothly with your home purchase.

If you are considering buying a house or condominium in Japan in the future, please refer to this page.

We also recommend the following article if you are interested in purchasing a single-family home in Japan at a reasonable price.
▶︎ A must-see for foreigners! What are "akiya banks" (vacant house banks)? What are the advantages?

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Can foreigners buy houses in Japan?

It is of course possible for foreigners to buy a house in Japan.

In Japan, foreign nationals can purchase and acquire ownership of homes and land in the same manner as Japanese nationals. There are no restrictions based on nationality or status of residence.

Outside of Japan, there are often restrictions on foreigners acquiring real estate, depending on whether they have permanent residency status, visa type, and other factors.

In Japan, however, there are no such restrictions, and foreigners can own real estate just like Japanese people. No visa status is required.

However, the purchase of a residence does not automatically confer residency status (visa) or permanent residence. Consider home ownership and status of residence as separate issues.

Average purchase price of a home: both houses and apartments explained

Here is some information about the price of the house that you may be interested in.

Let's divide housing into detached houses (single family homes) and apartments (condominiums) and look at the average price per region for each.

Price refers to the total price of the building and land in the case of a custom-built house with land, and to the sales price in the case of a built-for-sale house and condominium.

Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba

The average price of homes in the metropolitan area is as follows

Housing TypePrice
A house (custom-built house with land)45.07 million yen
A house (built for sale)43,429,000 yen
apartment house53,277,000 yen

In the metropolitan area as a whole, prices are slightly lower than in the 23 wards of Tokyo, but still higher than the national average. Prices are higher in areas with better access to central Tokyo.

Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Shiga, Wakayama

The average price of houses in the Kinki area is as follows

Housing TypePrice
A house (custom-built house with land)29.29 million yen
A house (built for sale)37.13 million yen
apartment house49,739,000 yen

While prices are higher in urban centers such as Osaka City and Kyoto City, as in the Tokyo metropolitan area, prices in the Kinki region as a whole are slightly lower than in the Tokyo metropolitan area. However, compared to the national average, prices are still in the high category.

Tokai area|Aichi, Gifu, Shizuoka, Mie

Average home prices in the Tokai area are as follows

Housing TypePrice
A house (custom-built house with land)16.05 million yen
A house (built for sale)31,511,000 yen
apartment house44,349,000 yen

With the exception of central areas such as Nagoya City, housing prices in the Tokai region are not much different from the national average. It can be said that this is an area where homes can be purchased at relatively reasonable prices.

Other Regions

Average home prices in other areas (prefectures other than the Tokyo, Kinki and Tokai metropolitan areas) are as follows.

Housing TypePrice
A house (custom-built house with land)69.85 million yen
A house (built for sale)29,475,000 yen
apartment house4,018.5 million yen

In regional cities, both houses and condominiums are relatively inexpensive. However, with the exception of central areas such as prefectural capitals, there are areas where housing prices are high even in rural areas.

It should also be noted that some areas in Okinawa and Hokkaido have unique housing conditions and price ranges that differ from the national average.

Reference:FY2022 Summary Table: Japan Housing Finance Agency (formerly Japan Housing Finance Agency)

Key Points for Foreigners Buying Real Estate in Japan

When a foreigner purchases a house or other real estate in Japan, there are several points to keep in mind. To ensure a smooth real estate transaction, please be aware of the following points.

1. taxes are the same as Japanese

In this book, foreigners can own real estate in exactly the same way as Japanese people, and there is no term of ownership.

On the other hand, taxes on the acquisition and ownership of real estate are the same as for Japanese nationals. The main taxes are as follows

  • Real estate acquisition tax: Tax on the acquisition price of real estate
  • Registration and license tax: A tax on the registration of real estate.
  • Property tax: Annual tax on land and buildings
  • City planning tax: Annual tax on land and buildings in city planning areas
  • Income tax: Tax on gains from the sale of real estate, etc.

Tax types and rates vary depending on the type and location of the real estate. It is important to understand the required taxes before acquiring real estate.

2. very few private transactions

In Japanese real estate transactions, the seller and buyer of a house rarely communicate directly to conclude a sales contract. Usually, a company called a "real estate brokerage firm" acts as an intermediary and mediates the transaction.

Real estate brokerage firms provide a series of support services, such as providing property information, arranging viewings, concluding sales contracts, and handing over the property. For foreigners, there is a language barrier, so it is safer to choose a real estate agency that offers services for foreigners.

However, keep in mind that a brokerage fee will be charged when using the services of a real estate brokerage firm. The commission is capped by law and depends on the sales price.

Transaction price (excluding tax)Maximum brokerage fee
Over 4 million yenFixed term price (excluding tax) x 3% + 60,000 yen + consumption tax
Over 2 million yen to 4 million yenPrice with fixed term (excluding tax) x 4% + 20,000 yen + consumption tax
Less than 2 million yenPrice with fixed term (excluding tax) x 5% + consumption tax

3. gather information on the Internet

A great deal of Japanese real estate information is available on the Internet. On real estate portal sites, you can search for properties by area, price, floor plan, and other criteria.

We recommend that you gather information on the Internet in advance about the price range of properties that match your needs and where you would like to live.

If you have a sense of the market price of the property, you should be able to proceed smoothly with negotiations with the real estate company. It is important to gather information by yourself, rather than leaving it to the real estate company.

4. older homes are generally cheaper but often need renovation

Japanese houses are called "used houses" when more than 30 years have passed since they were built. Used houses have the advantage of being cheaper to purchase than new houses, but the older the building, the more maintenance is required.

In many cases, older homes have deteriorated water systems, exterior walls, and roofs, and may require remodeling (renovation) soon after purchase. The cost of remodeling may be several million yen at the lowest, and in some cases, a large-scale remodeling may cost more than 10 million yen.

Even if you are able to purchase an existing home at a discount, it is not uncommon for the total price to be not so low when renovation costs are included. When considering an existing home, check the condition of the property in detail and take into account the necessary renovation costs.

Foreign residents who are considering purchasing a home in Japan may also be concerned about specific purchase procedures, required documents, and costs.

Please check out the following article, which is aimed at foreigners regarding purchasing real estate in Japan.
▶︎ How do foreigners buy a house in Japan? Explanation of necessary documents and costs for purchasing real estate.

Cautions for Foreign Nationals Getting a Mortgage Loan in Japan

Purchasing a home requires a small amount of capital. The purchase cost, excluding down payment and other personal funds, is often covered by a "mortgage".

A mortgage loan is a system whereby a borrower borrows the cost of purchasing a home from a financial institution and repays the loan over a long period of time. Foreign nationals are also eligible for a mortgage loan if certain conditions are met.

Let's take the conditions of "Flat 35," a "full-term fixed-rate mortgage" handled by more than 300 financial institutions nationwide in partnership with the Japan Housing Finance Agency, as an example.

In order to use "Flat 35", you must fall under one of the following conditions.

  • Have a permanent residence permit in Japan
  • Special Permanent Resident.

If you do not have a permanent residence permit, there are some mortgage loans that can be applied for by having a Japanese citizen or a spouse with a permanent residence permit as a co-signer.

In addition, there are other detailed requirements similar to those for Japanese nationals, such as being under 70 years of age at the time of application and having a loan-to-income ratio below a certain level, as well as the following

  • Must be under 70 years of age at the time of application
  • For all loans, the ratio of total annual repayments to annual income must be less than 301 TP25T if annual income is less than 4 million yen, and less than 351 TP25T if annual income is 4 million yen or more.
  • Use the loan to finance the construction or purchase of a new home or purchase of an existing home to be occupied by the applicant or his/her relatives.
  • The loan period must be between 15 and 35 years (or "age 80" - "age at application"), etc.

In addition, there is also the language barrier to borrowing a mortgage loan. Since there is a lot of jargon and explanations are very long, those who are not comfortable with Japanese can ask for an interpreter or choose a financial institution that can provide foreign language services.

Also, to learn more about mortgages, please refer to the following related articles.
▶︎ No Permanent Residency! A Guide to Loans for Foreigners

Reference:For foreign nationals applying for Flat 35,【 Flat 35】 Terms and Conditions: Long-term fixed-rate mortgage loan 【 Flat 35】

Useful information and support for living in Japan

Living in Japan is fascinating, but it is not uncommon to face many challenges due to language barriers and cultural differences. For example, you may encounter difficulties in all aspects of life, from using keigo (honorific expressions) in everyday and business situations, to difficulties in finding housing, using public services, preparing for the JLPT exam, and even meeting new friends and loved ones.

At such times, Goandup Salon will be your reliable partner!

Our community provides support and information to help foreign residents in Japan to make their life in Japan richer and more comfortable.

  • Japanese Language Studywill meet the needs of all levels, from daily conversation to the use of keigo in business situations, to efficient Japanese language learning methods and preparation for the JLPT exam.
  • livingaspect of the program provides concrete advice and information on how to establish a foundation for living in Japan, including explanations of Japanese culture and rules, finding housing, and how to contract public services and living infrastructure.
  • Jobs & CareersRegarding the "what if" section, we can help you find a job, change jobs, and understand Japanese business etiquette and workplace culture, which are key to a successful career in the workplace.

If you have any questions or concerns about life in Japan,Goandup Salon.Let's solve your problem in the following way! We will wholeheartedly support you to make your life in Japan smoother and more enjoyable.

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In this article, we have introduced the price quotations for houses in Japan and some points to keep in mind when purchasing a house for a foreigner. We hope you have gained an understanding of purchasing a home in Japan. Purchasing a home is a major life decision. Make the right choice for yourself after gathering sufficient information and being well prepared.

By the way, when considering the purchase of a house, comparison with renting is also an important factor. If you would like to know more about the rental market in Japan, please check out the following related articles.
▶︎ Which prefectures have the cheapest rent in Japan? Compare rent prices by region

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