Frequently Asked Questions About
Buying And Selling Japanese Properties
Japan does not prohibit foreigners from purchasing property, the tax rate remains the same regardless of the nationality of the buyer. After April 1998 there has been a slight alteration of the laws regarding the property purchasing rights of foreigners, the limitations on owning property in Japan has since been relaxed.
The rules regarding owning property in Japan states that foreigners can own property after registering for land rights. The respective property or land rights will permanently belong to the buyer; retaining rights to sell, buy or to be inherited within a family.
Signing a deal in Hong Kong: A solicitor can be arranged for Hong Kong investors to oversee the procedure, explain important terms of the contract and help investors with the registration process. Customers will enjoy the convenience of our service and be able to purchase Japanese real estate right here in Hong Kong, Please refer to the “Purchase Process” section for further details.
Signing a deal in Japan: Our staff over at Japan Hana Real Estate’s Japan branch are equally proficient in Chinese and English. Feel free to join a tour or to take a day and explore the beauty of Japan. We will arrange to have our staff pick you up from the hotel you are staying at to finish the signing of the contract.
The staff from Japan Hana Real Estate are fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and English, they will be at your service throughout the whole process.
- A copy of your Hong Kong Identity Card
- A copy of your passport
- A copy of an affidavit verifying your Hong Kong residence and personal signature.
This is usually available free of charge at the district offices, please provide a Chinese and an English copy.
When purchasing property in Japan other costs will include purchase taxes, attorney fees and agency fees. Please refer to the “Purchase Cost and Taxes” section for further details.
For customers that have the time to view properties directly, arrangements can be made for staff fluent in Chinese or English to take you for a tour of the property.
Hong Kong is a busy city and we understand that not all customers will be able to go to Japan, in that case our company will provide quality photos of the property’s interior and exterior.
Most investment properties come with a lease, for privacy reasons, interior tours of properties that are currently occupied by a tenant will not be possible, if customers would like to visit the property they are allowed to take an exterior tour to get a feel for the surrounding environment and we will provide photos of the interior where available.
Vacant properties are free for touring.
The property contracts will be predominantly in Japanese. Hiring a lawyer for translation services will be extremely costly. Before signing, our staff will translate in detail and thoroughly explain the purchase policies and contents of the contract. If there are points in this process where the buyer needs to pay special attention, please be assured that our staff will make a note of it.
Transfers can be made from Hong Kong, buyers are required to pay in yen.
Mortgage loans are available to purchasers subject to the purchaser’s background. Japan Hana Real Estate works with a number of banks and financial institutions and can provide assistance. Mortgage loans can be up to 70% of the property price, for property priced above 30 million yen. Please contact us for more information.
Our partner company is a professional rental management company, providing convenient all-in-one rental collection, tenant and property management services.
These services include helping the owner find a suitable tenant, collection of rent, cash remittance, tenancy disputes, withdrawing tenancy procedures and also house cleaning and renovation.
According to the customer’s needs, money will be transferred to their respective bank account in Hong Kong, ensuring investors peace of mind when choosing Japan Hana Real Estate.
There is no need to open a Japanese bank account. Our rental management company will collect rent for owners and transfer the money directly to their bank accounts in Hong Kong.
In order to prevent foreigners from laundering money in Japan, the Japanese government generally does not allow bank accounts to be opened for foreigners who do not have the right to reside in the country.
This is not allowed under Japanese real estate legislation. Property contracts must go through a Real Estate company with Japanese Real Estate License (“Takken” in Japanese), get stamped by industry experts and approved by real estate transaction specialists. After the real estate and land registration have be confirmed by solicitors or property surveyors, the buyer then registers at the Legal Affairs Bureau. In Japan without a real estate transaction specialist the procedure cannot be carried out by anyone else. If you wish to purchase property, please observe the Japan’s laws before commencing the procedure.
Yes you can. When purchasing the property submit the respective proofs of address and personal identification documents. When filing tax returns each year, both owners will have to fill out the forms. If buyers have any questions please inquire further for certified tax services.
Japan’s immigration policy is extremely strict, including investor immigration. Japan’s government enforces conservative immigration policies to restrict permanent foreigner residence. Typical investments (property purchasers) will not obtain a residence visa. However if the applicant has a number of properties and a high enough salary, it is possible to apply for an investor visa. Please contact us for a more thorough explanation.
The main different between with Hong Kong and Japanese measurements is that the exclusive or construction area in a Japanese flat excludes corridors and entrances. A flat’s exclusive area is counted from the center of wall (wall core), and construction area is recorded from the inner wall. There is a slight difference between the two calculations, but the margin is less than 10%. The area of the terrace is counted as extra.
Ping is the standard Japanese unit for measuring an area. 1 ping is equivalent to around 3.305 square meters, or 35.583 square feet, 1 ping is equal to around two tatami mats.
RC is the short form for Reinforced Concrete Construction, it means the property’s framework was built by thin rods of steel, concrete is then poured to form the structure. These two composite materials make up the RC structure, it adds to the building’s ability to stand when exposed to tension and strengthens the building’s mechanical properties. Generally RC is used only when the building is lower than 15 floors as its cost is cheaper than the SC or SRC structure. SRC (Steel Reinforced Concrete Construction) uses thick steel beams for form a frame, combines thinner steel rods and concrete when molding the building. Due to the toughness of reinforced steel and reinforced concrete, these buildings are often advertised as earthquake proof, safe and suitable for taller buildings (about 12 to 25 floors). The construction cost is higher than the RC structure.
Buildings completed after May 31, 1981 are in line with legislation ensuring buildings are up to a level 6 earthquake resistance standard. When buying property insurance owners also have the option to buy earthquake insurance, in the case that buildings are damaged due to natural events insurance companies will cover the losses.
Generally, tenants are responsible for making sure the house returned to the state that it was when it was rented. Repairs costs (e.g. concerning equipment such as the water heater, air-conditioning, kitchen, bathroom, sink, door frames, etc.) are billed to the owner except during cases of negligence or deliberate damage by tenants.
Management fees paid by the owners ensures that the property is managed properly and that public spaces are maintained. This includes services covering entire buildings, emergency equipment, periodic inspection fees, administration fees, house cleaning, public utilities, damage insurance, construction company charges and so on. Maintenance include renovations ensuring safety and long-term maintenance of the building, making sure it passes periodic inspections. Repair fees are collected from all the tenants of the building in case of an emergency.
A “Real estate transaction specialist”, referred to as “Takken” in Japanese is a government issued professional qualification for handlers of real estate transactions. This differs from a generic real estate business in Hong Kong or real estate agent’s license. The “real estate transaction specialist” is a professional qualification specializing in real estate contracts, it is equivalent to a law degree. The specialist is responsible for preparing and interpreting contracts, most importantly overseeing property sales to buyers and sellers. Once buyers and sellers come to an agreement the specialist’s name and seal will bind the contract, officially validating the sale agreement.
Of course we can. Do no hesitate to contact us if you find a property suiting your needs.
Yes. Once your purchasing conditions are communicated clearly, we will waste no time finding the perfect property suiting all of your needs and requirements.
Yes. We can arrange for our customers to meet with a Japanese professional administrative solicitor (lawyer) to assist you in starting a company and attaining an investor visa in Japan. Please contact us for more details.