is no restriction as to who can
buy real estate in Tokyo, but it
is uncommon for foreign nationals
to purchase property here. There
are two reasons for this – cost
of property is very high, and investment
in real estate is risky as Tokyo
is an earthquake-prone area. But
despite these facts, the city has
seen a recent surge in property
buying by foreign nationals, mainly
because interest rates from banks
are very low – 2 to 3%.
a loan from a bank may be a little
difficult for foreigners as they
have to have a financially stable
Japanese guarantor. A guarantor
is required in order to repay the
loan in case of default. It is also
necessary to have lived in Japan
for some time and to have good credit
history. Sometimes getting a loan
from a loaning company can be easier,
but then interest rates are higher.
Recently it has also become easier
for foreign nationals to secure
mortgages from banks or lenders,
especially for those who have lived
in Japan for a long period of time.
process of buying property in Tokyo
is this – After the property has
been selected, a Seller's Real Property
Disclosure Statement and a Purchase
Contract is drafted. Then a 10%
deposit is paid to the seller by
the buyer and the title is transferred.
Both the parties get certificates
of seal impressions. Finally the
balance payment is paid and the
deed is registered. This whole process,
which takes 2-3 weeks, also involves
taxes – Acquisition Tax, Registration
License Tax, Judicial Scrivener
Fees, and Stamp Tax. Usually a real
estate agent is hired to help with
the whole process of buying, who
also acts as the buyer's translator.
The agent also charges a fee for
real estate agent may be hired from
one of the many real estate agencies
or companies that assist foreign
nationals. Their staff speaks fluent
English, making communication easy.
These agents help buyers from the
first stage of selection of property,
till the finalization of the deal.
In order to find a realtor of your
choice, one of these sources may
be searched –
– The English language newspapers
usually have advertisements from
– Friends who have been in Tokyo
for a long time generally know where
to find good realtors.
– This is the best source of information.
Here are some to get you started: