June 7, 2021
Can a foreigner buy property in Japan?
This article explains whether a foreigner can buy a property in Japan.
Can a foreigner own a property in their own name?
What procedures do I need to follow?
Can I be responsible for the management of the property after purchase?
These are just some of the questions that will be answered.
We have helped many foreign clients to buy and sell property in Japan, so we can help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Let us explain it to you.
Foreigners can buy property in Japan!
Japanese land, buildings, income-producing properties such as one building or one condominium, and sectional ownership condominiums, can be easily acquired and registered by signing a sales contract and paying the price.
After signing the sales contract and paying the price, you can obtain the necessary evidence (certificate of title, registration identification information) to obtain the right to own the property.
This evidence can be used to show the public who owns the land or building.
This is called registration of property ownership.
It is also possible to acquire land and plan and construct a new building.
If a foreigner is the buyer or seller in one of the above real estate transactions, it is usual to register the contract and the transfer of ownership at the address of the foreigner in his country of residence, even if he does not have a VISA.
At present, there are no special provisions for foreign individuals or companies buying or selling land or buildings in Japan.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of foreign nationals acquiring land in Japan, and the government has been trying to take action.
This is also the case with the VISA screening, which I mentioned in another article.
In addition, regardless of whether you are a Japanese national or a foreign national, you are required to notify the Governor or the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of any acquisition of land of a certain size (notification, not permission), but it is safe to assume that this does not apply to most acquisitions of land for detached houses or general real estate construction.
Simply put, foreigners do not need to apply for a permit to buy a second-hand house, land for a new building or a condominium.
The process of buying a property in Japan for a foreigner
1. Price negotiation
In Japan, as in other countries, you can negotiate the price of a property.
If there are other people who want to buy the same property at the same time as you, it is difficult to negotiate, but basically you want to buy as cheaply as possible.
Please discuss your desired price and possibilities with your partner agent and ask them to negotiate with the seller.
It is possible to negotiate for land, detached houses, profit properties, sectional ownership flats, rent, and all.
2. Sales contract!
We show the intention to buy to a seller, and will decide a contract schedule.
・The amount of money
・The amount of the deposit at the time of a contract
Usually, on the day of signing the contract, a deposit (about 10% of the purchase price) is paid and the contract is signed.
If you are Japanese, you will need to affix your personal seal (inkan) to the contract, but if you are a foreign national, you will need to sign the contract as you will not be able to produce a valid seal until you have obtained a Visa.
By the time the contract is signed, the date of settlement and the date of registration of the transfer of ownership will be decided.
On the settlement date, the buyer pays the balance of the price and registers the transfer of ownership, making the land and building his own.
A certificate of signature of the foreign party is required when the judicial scrivener applies at the Legal Affairs Bureau to register the transfer of ownership.
The signature certificate can be applied for at the consulate of your country and can be obtained on the same day or within a week, depending on the country.
All you need to say is that you are buying a property in Japan. You just need to tell them that you are buying property in Japan.
In addition to the purchase price, you will pay a fee to the judicial scrivener who will register the transfer of ownership.
The judicial scrivener will be responsible for all the work involved in the transfer, so there is nothing for you to do!
The cost is approximately 60,000 yen for the application for registration of the transfer, plus the registration tax for the application for registration of the transfer.
The registration tax is 0.02% of the value of the real estate (land and buildings).
The real estate price is the price of the land or building as determined by the municipality, not the actual purchase price.
The taxable value is usually around 50% of the purchase price.
It is important to find out the taxable value of the property in question before signing the sale contract!
This will form the basis for calculating the acquisition tax and property tax that you will need to pay in the future.
・Acquisition tax is payable only once.
・Property tax is annual.
Your purchase is now complete.
What to look out for when buying property in Japan as a foreigner
Here are some tips for foreigners looking to buy property in Japan.
The most important thing to remember is the tax.
・Real estate acquisition tax ：4%.
・Property tax： 1.4%.
Both of these taxes are based on the assessed value of the property as determined by the municipality, not the sale price, which is lower than the price charged for the sale contract.
In Japan, if a foreign national owns real estate, a tax notice and payment will be sent to the address where the owner lives.
If you do not have a VISA or a Japanese company, you will register the property at an address outside Japan, so of course it will be sent to you.
If there is a problem with the mail, how do you pay the tax even if it arrives safely?
There are deadlines for paying your tax from the time you are notified until you complete your payment.
If you are late for any reason, your payment will be seized.
Furthermore, if you are unaware of this, your property can be sold to a third party.
The next thing to keep in mind is management.
You don’t need to manage your house if you are going to live there continuously, but you shouldn’t leave it unattended when you go on holiday or when you return to your home country.
Even in flats, proper ventilation and cleaning is necessary.
If you live in a house, be careful during the winter months.
Cold weather can cause water pipes to freeze and snow to accumulate, which can damage your home.
It is also common for windows to be broken by the fall of heavy snow on the roof.
It is advisable to ask us to manage your property in your absence.
We can take care of this for you.
For a period of one or two months, we will do this free of charge.
For longer periods of time, the management fee will be decided after consultation.
The monthly fee is approximately 10,000 yen.
We support you in all aspects of tax management.
If you have bought a property and the taxes are not ridiculously high, the worst that can happen is that you are not informed during the period when you are obliged to pay them.
In fact, we have had many people who have bought and sold their property with a real estate agent who did not work for us, who did not take care of them, who were not able to come to Japan for a long period of time, and then things went from bad to worse.
These people now have the peace of mind of owning their property with our support.
The secret is that in Japan, there is a method called “Tax Manager”.
Unless you are a real estate agent helping foreign clients buy and sell real estate, you may not know this exists.
A “tax agent” is, as the name suggests, a person who carries out tax obligations on behalf of the actual taxpayer.
We register our information with the tax office as a “tax administrator” for all foreign clients we deal with.
You will also receive a tax notice and payment slip from us.
We will inform you directly of the details of your tax payment and the deadline.
Naturally, there will be no delays or non-payment.
We do not only manage the actual land and buildings, but also all other aspects of the property.
Of course, we do not charge our clients a separate fee for the management of the property, as this is not a costly operation for us!
If you are considering owning property in Japan, the first thing to do is not to sell the property and be done with it!
If you are considering owning a property in Japan, it is essential to choose a real estate agent with whom you can have a good relationship after the purchase.