Buy Guide

Guide to Buying House in Japan

The Cost of Buying and Owning Property in Japan

A number of fees are incurred when purchasing real estate in Japan, including taxes paid on the basis of Japan's particular legal and regulatory requirements as well as processing fees paid to the real estate agent. Other fees, such as management fees and repair fees, are also incurred after purchase. Here, we will provide information related to receiving funds as well as fees incurred before and after real estate purchases and items to be aware of when leasing property you own.

Are foreigners able to get a loan from local Japanese banks?

Essentially, it is difficult for non-residents to obtain loans from Japanese banks, and if you cannot take out a loan, you must either make the purchase in cash or arrange for funds through a loan from your home country. We recommend that you have a plan for obtaining funds before you look for property.

If you are purchasing property to use as housing

It is sometimes possible for foreigners to obtain loans from Japanese banks if they are going to be living in Japan. Generally speaking, having a permanent residence visa is required, but some banks may let you borrow money without having one. You should inquire at specific banks for details.

If you are purchasing an investment property or second house

Generally speaking, you cannot obtain a loan from a Japanese bank if you are a non-resident of Japan.

The Process of a Real Estate Purchase in Japan

We here provide a detailed explanation of the procedure and flow of buying Japanese real estate and acquiring proprietary rights to it. It might be possible to gather property information from outside Japan via the Internet, but it will be necessary to visit Japan at least two times in order to inspect prospective property, sign contracts, and conduct the property handover.

Property Purchase Costs and Taxes

When signing a contract

1. Stamp duty

Documentary stamp tax required for the sales contract.

2. Down payment

10 to 20% of the sales price

When settling the remaining payment

1. Remaining sum of the sales price of the property

2. Settlement money on a pro-rate basis

  • Fixed Asset Tax , City Planning Tax
  • Management fee, Repairing fund (for an apartment)

3. Agent Commission

3% of the sales price + 60,000 yen + consumption tax in accordance with property transaction regulations.

4. Registry License Tax

Registration of ownership’s right of land or a building.

5. Judicial Scrivener Fees

Fee for conducting owneriship transfer and necessary related registaration.
The exact amount varies depending on the property, the fund and the complexity of the registration procedure, but normally speaking, it is around ¥100,000.

6. Consumption Tax

  • Levied at 8% of the property price
  • Can be levied on new and old buildings but not on land
  • Usually included in the selling price

Fees incurred after property handover

1. Real Estate Acquisition Tax

Tax on purchase of property.
Approximately 3 to 6 month after buying a property, all necessary documents related to the tax are sent by the tax office responsible for the property.

2. Disaster insurance premiums

Fees incurred yearly after property acquisition

1. Fixed asset tax

Levied by the Japanese government, this is 1.4% of the value of the fixed asset

2. City planning tax

Levied by the Japanese government, this is 0.3% of the value of the fixed asset

Condominium management fees, maintenance fees, and fixed asset tax, etc.

Japan has a "sectional ownership law" and a "homeowners association" system under which people who own and live in the same condominium complex must jointly manage the building and grounds. For that reason, there is generally a management fee for that purpose as well as a maintenance fee that goes toward common-use area of future building repairs, and the owner must pay these fees each month. The maintenance fee in particular is reviewed every few years and may be adjusted by the management association of homeowners in accordance with the long-term repair plan.