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Do Japanese rent or buy?


Japan has a unique culture and lifestyle that has been shaped by its geography, history, and traditions. One aspect of this culture is their housing market: do Japanese prefer to rent or buy their homes? In this article, we will explore the various factors that influence this decision and provide an in-depth look into the Japanese housing market.

The Cost of Living in Japan

Before diving into the housing market, it is important to understand the cost of living in Japan. Compared to other developed countries, Japan has a relatively high cost of living. This is due to factors such as high taxes, expensive healthcare, and a strong currency. These factors can make it more difficult for Japanese citizens to afford a home purchase.

Japanese Snack Box

The Japanese Housing Market

The Japanese housing market has experienced significant changes over the last few decades. In the 1980s, there was a housing bubble that led to skyrocketing prices. However, this bubble burst in the 1990s and prices have been relatively stable since then. Today, the Japanese housing market is characterized by a high demand for rental properties and a preference for new, modern homes.

Renting in Japan

When it comes to renting a home in Japan, there are several factors to consider. First, rental properties in Japan are often smaller than those found in other countries. Second, rent prices can be quite high, especially in urban areas. Finally, there is often a requirement to pay several months’ worth of rent upfront as a deposit.

Buying in Japan

For those who choose to buy a home in Japan, there are several factors to consider as well. First, home prices can be quite high, especially in popular areas. Second, there are strict regulations on building codes and zoning laws that must be followed. Finally, obtaining a mortgage can be difficult for some due to strict lending requirements.

Cultural Factors

There are also cultural factors that influence whether Japanese citizens choose to rent or buy their homes. For example, there is a cultural belief that owning a home is a sign of stability and success. However, there is also a strong emphasis on communal living and harmonious relationships with neighbors, which can make renting more appealing.

The Influence of Age

Age is another factor that plays a role in the decision to rent or buy a home in Japan. Younger generations are more likely to rent due to financial constraints and the desire for flexibility in their living arrangements. Older generations are more likely to buy due to their desire for stability and long-term investment opportunities.

Population Density

Population density is another important factor when it comes to housing decisions in Japan. With limited space and an ever-growing population, space is at a premium in urban areas. This can make renting more appealing due to the lower cost and smaller size of rental properties.

Lifestyle Preferences

Finally, lifestyle preferences can also influence whether Japanese citizens choose to rent or buy their homes. For example, those who prioritize travel or work may prefer renting due to its flexibility and lower costs. Those who prioritize family life and community may prefer buying due to its stability and long-term investment opportunities.

The Future of the Japanese Housing Market

As with any housing market, the future of the Japanese housing market is uncertain. However, experts predict that demand for rental properties will continue to grow due to the increasing population density and changing demographics. At the same time, buying opportunities may arise as older generations pass on their homes to younger generations.


In conclusion, whether Japanese citizens choose to rent or buy their homes depends on various factors such as age, lifestyle preferences, cultural beliefs, and economic conditions. While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, it ultimately comes down to individual needs and preferences.


Do people in Japan pay rent?

The monthly rent and utility expenses are covered in full by you. As for the cost of rent in Japan, you can expect to pay in the area of 50,000 (rural) to 80,000 (urban) yen per calendar month in rent. Utilities are usually around 10,000 yen per calendar month.

Do most people rent in Japan?

In 2022, the share of households renting dwellings and land in Japan stood at around 22.2 percent, remaining at the same level as in previous years.Feb 15, 2023

Is it expensive to own a house in Japan?

Homes in Japan are some of the cheapest in the world according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). However, residents still spend, on average, 22% of their total income on housing.Oct 8, 2021

How much is a house in Japan in USD?

However, on the whole, house prices are generally lower in Japan than the US, especially since the Covid pandemic. The average price of a new house listed for sale in Japan last month was ¥35,760,000 (about $337,000), which is lower than the median house sale price of 2022’s first quarter in the US, which was $428,700.Nov 2, 2022

Can Americans own land in Japan?

The answer is ‘yes’, as an expat, you can purchase both land and properties in Japan. No citizenship or residence visa is required. In fact, the process is much simpler than you might think and the exact same rules and legal procedures apply to both Japanese and non-Japanese buyers.Nov 27, 2020

Can US citizens live in Japan?

Getting a Japanese Visa This is a single-entry visa, but tourists can apply for two trips within six months if they want. If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you will have to gain a working visa or a spouse visa. This means you must either work in Japan or marry a Japanese citizen.Jan 12, 2023

The Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Japanese housing market. With many companies implementing remote work policies, there has been a shift in demand for housing from urban areas to suburban and rural areas. This has led to an increase in demand for larger homes with more outdoor space.

Additionally, the pandemic has caused economic uncertainty and job loss for many Japanese citizens, making it more difficult to afford a home purchase. This has led to a further increase in demand for rental properties.

The Role of Technology

Technology is also playing an increasing role in the Japanese housing market. Online real estate platforms are becoming more popular, allowing individuals to search for homes and apartments from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual home tours are also becoming more common, allowing prospective buyers and renters to view properties without physically visiting them.

Furthermore, smart home technology is becoming more prevalent in Japan. This includes features such as automated lighting and temperature control, which can make a home more energy-efficient and reduce costs over time.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness

There is also a growing emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendliness in the Japanese housing market. With Japan being prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, there is a need for homes that are resilient and can withstand these events. Additionally, there is a growing awareness of the impact of climate change, leading to an increased demand for energy-efficient homes.

As a result, there has been a push towards sustainable building materials and construction techniques, as well as the integration of renewable energy sources such as solar panels. This trend is likely to continue as more individuals prioritize environmental sustainability in their housing choices.

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