Just before the weekend or latest in the Saturday morning issue you will notice in the home delivered Japanese newspapers a huge pile of flyers related to the Japanese housing market. Very few flyers cover renting a home, more common is to provide potential interested parties with information about homes being built or already set up nearby. For sure I love to browse through these advertisements, as it is for me a good indicator of the economic situation of my immediate environment. What income range are the targeted buyers or from how far away the real estate companies try to attract new buyers? For sure the economic environment has become more competitive for the many sellers in Tokyo, as not only new places need to be sold, but more and more rather recently built homes come on the market again. One example is Sumitomo Real Estate company, a real estate company that had won again the national award in 2009 for the highest property sales turnover in Japan. Honestly I am wondering under how much pressure the real estate market is in Japan, because now with the upcoming financial year-end in March the competition is becoming tougher. In order to encourage more sales activities, Sumitomo Real Estate is presently promoting a Visa gift card campaign or then up to JPY 50,000 support on the moving expenses for those who can sell their property by March 6 through them. On the other hand, see the advertisement below showing the potential electronic goods that can be won if a property is purchased until end of March.
I believe Japanese home or condominium buyers – or maybe I should say most commonly the house wives or single female buyers – are rather informed based on my personal observation. Further almost at any train station free magazines about property purchasing are available, or there are many tools and resources available online. I believe one of the best sources is then Suumo (a Recruit company), which allows geographical searches and many tools related to the Japanese property purchases. Not so much is available in English and from my perspective one good English overview related loan conditions of the Japanese banks can be found at Housing Japan. For sure the local market is limited for foreign buyers with needs on local banking support. At least I hope the above overview can give a glimpse of the housing market in Japan, when it seems to me that recently more and more realtors from abroad have become interested in the Japanese market.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)