Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

A place for cheap properties in the countryside
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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby Zasso Nouka » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:42 am

You could also try approaching local councils directly as they sometimes don't bother listing properties that might be suitable because they don't think anyone would be interested, particularly with a property with farmland attached.

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby sigismund » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:58 am

gonbechan wrote:You have to pay gift tax and of course for the registration etc but apart from that the actual property is free.

Great find gonbechan. Any guess on how much the gift tax would be? I imagine it is based on percentage of the estimated value for the property.

It definitely seems in need of restoration but those cost could be considered pretty much offset by the fact that it is free. Hakui seems like a nice place and the location of the house seems to be good. The post office is near by so that's convenient.

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby gonbechan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:20 am

Gift tax in japan (with exceptions for gift from family which has some different rules)

Less than 2,000,000 10%

3,000,000 15%

4,000,000 20%

6,000,000 30%

10,000,000 40%

Over 10,000,000 50%

So I suppose it depends on the book value of the property.

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby LeeB » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:11 am

A very interesting topic.

I think that a 'young' person going to Japan with a few bucks could really put together a good plan to make use of these cheap or free properties. If only I was 30 years younger!!

As the Japanese population ages and more of the elderly population dies off there will be more and more of these types of properties in Japan and on the market. The value will probably continue to fall and many will will remain unsold or abandoned. The land registry and tax situation with many of them will prevent any reasonable solution to the problem though.

That being said research and a little knowledge would make the difference.

Another area with really 'reasonable' prices are many of the condos/units/apartments in the vacation areas in Japan. Some of them are very cheap and have give away prices compared to anything here in Melbourne.

There are caveats though with these properties:

1. Many of the buildings are getting quite old and that might entail huge bills for repair and upkeep.

2. The monthly maintenance fees and sinking fund payments are huge for some and over a few years would add up to more than the price of the property. Real estate taxes are another concern and while I am not sure about the methods to assess tax, I once read that the tax basis is based on the price when the property was first sold and not on the current value or the value of the most recent transaction. Under this situation the taxes would be quite high.

3. As some of the owners die and no one 'claims' the property there may be more and more units/condos/apartments that are vacant and have to be either sold or taken over over by the body corporate and the increased fees to other owners would be huge over time.

4. Generally in Japan the price of condos/units/apartments fall over time and unlike here in Australia/Hawaii/USA these things are depreciating assets.

Frequent visitors to Japan who could buy and rent these out to recoup some of the costs might find thee cheapo properties a worthwhile alternative to hotels, monthly/weekly mansions, or airbnb type properties.

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby Zasso Nouka » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:36 am

It seems strange that property here declines in value over time rather than increases in value as it does back in the UK, the house I owned there was getting on for over 150 years old and wasn't considered exceptional. Now house prices are so high in London they have pretty much excluded young people from getting on the property ladder which can't be a good thing. To be honest the prices I've seen houses going for on my old street are truly ridiculous.

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby LeeB » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:46 am

An article on 'investing' in Japanese apartments from the Japan Times:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/ ... mPvmzSYNph

I would think that if you wanted to take a punt on investing in Japanese real estate finding a good site for a solar 'farm' would be better. For 10 million yen you could get a small site up and running and still make a pretty good ROI compared to other types of assets.

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby Eric in Japan » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:56 pm

Zasso Nouka wrote:It seems strange that property here declines in value over time rather than increases in value as it does back in the UK, the house I owned there was getting on for over 150 years old and wasn't considered exceptional. Now house prices are so high in London they have pretty much excluded young people from getting on the property ladder which can't be a good thing. To be honest the prices I've seen houses going for on my old street are truly ridiculous.


The real estate bubble never really burst in the 90s. It wilted a bit, and then stagnated. Now as the older generation are passing on or losing control of their properties, the prices are going down again.
"... so, the cucumbers said to the cabbage, `Lettuce Go.`"

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby Zasso Nouka » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:51 am

Eric in Japan wrote:The real estate bubble never really burst in the 90s. It wilted a bit, and then stagnated. Now as the older generation are passing on or losing control of their properties, the prices are going down again.


I guess people are reluctant to sell their property for what they perceive to be a loss even though the bubble price wasn't a realistic valuation of what it was worth. Whatever happened to the new tax rules that were supposed to address some of these issues with higher taxes on unused or abandoned properties, does anyone know ?

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby LeeB » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:14 am

"It seems strange that property here declines in value over time rather than increases in value..."

It depends on the time frame one is looking at. Those who bought a house in Japan right after WWII have made a fortune. Those who bought a house in the big cities right before the bubble also managed to make a fortune.

After moving to Japan and getting married I initially tried to buy a house, but was unable to get a loan as I didn't have PR at the time. The price of the house I was interested in tripled in value during the bubble. Nothing special about the house at all. By the time I got PR and was actually able to borrow money the price of RE was too high and we really didn't want to be a slave to a mortgage for the next 50 years. Fast forward and the situation has changed in many ways. It is now cheaper to buy than rent in many secondary cities and rural areas in Japan.

Japan is a 'funny' market for real estate as it shows how supply and demand works and also how the myriad number of restrictions and taxes affect the market. (By the way these restrictions and taxes were IMO some of the main reasons for the property bubble and bust in Japan as well as the huge flow of Japanese money that ended up in foreign RE.)

In the big cities the price of RE is still high, but in the country areas it is cheaper (Probably still way to expensive given the supply of vacant houses, abandoned land, declining population, and restrictions on the use of the land along with ridiculous taxes and fees for buying and selling.)

In many areas you can see the how the population is declining just by looking at how many people use the local train station. Some places have seen the number of people using the train decline by 50 or 60% over the past 30 years. Not good places to buy a house or apartment.

All that being said, Japan does have some very nice houses and prices are quite reasonable even in the big cities compared to here in Australia.

The median price of a house in Melbourne is now A$903,859 or in yen terms about 80 million yen. Sydney’s price is 30% more than that. Near the Melbourne CBD the median price in the Inner East suburbs is over 125 million yen – those are the medians…….

The price of RE here in Australia is ridiculous. That is so even in the suburb I live in which is an hour from the Melbourne CBD by train (If and when they actually run and they are usually late as well !)

A two bedroom unit on around 200 square meters of land will cost you around A$500,000. The cheapest freestanding house currently listed is A$550,000. A reasonable house on 150 – 160 tsubo will run around A$650,000. Those are in the ‘cheap’ areas. Around the village proper the price will be around the $A1 million area or more.

And unlike in Japan where you can get cheap loans from places like Rakuten (under 1% after discounts) the adjustable rate mortgages here are around 4.5% or so.

Rents are high as well with the rent for a cheap 3 – 4 bedroom house in my suburb around A$410 a week (160,000 yen a month). Vacancy rates are very, very low too. There are a total of 120 houses and 12 units/apartments for rent in the suburb.

An example of how prices have moved up here in Australia can be seen in the article below which shows the prices moving up by some 80% in areas around he Mornington Peninsula over a five year period. Huge demand and population growth has pushed up property prices in Australia unlike in most of Japan where population decline and lack of demand has had the opposite effect( except in the big cities.)

https://www.domain.com.au/news/were-fed ... 20-h0k2m6/

And finally, a ridiculous article on ‘cheap’ houses in Victoria.

Most of these places have very few jobs and are so far away from the big cities that well…………..

https://www.domain.com.au/news/10-of-th ... 05-h037m3/

Which would you rather have: a ½ acre in Chiba around 1 ½ hours from Tokyo for A$300,000 or a dump out in Ouyen 5 hours by car from Melbourne for $125,000?????

If I had a choice I know which one I would pick and it wouldn't be in Australia.....................

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Re: Free or very cheap inaka houses and land

Postby akikana » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:56 am



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