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How much would it cost to buy a house in Japan?


Japan is a country with a unique and fascinating culture, stunning scenery, and a booming economy. The cost of living in Japan is high, and buying property is no exception. However, the benefits of owning a home in Japan are numerous, including the potential for long-term investment and the ability to immerse oneself in Japanese culture. In this article, we will explore how much it would cost to buy a house in Japan.

Factors Affecting the Cost

Several factors can influence the cost of buying a house in Japan. These include location, size, age, type of property, and proximity to transportation and amenities. Coastal areas and big cities like Tokyo and Osaka tend to be more expensive than rural areas. Similarly, newer properties command higher prices than older ones.

Japanese Snack Box

The Average Cost of a Home in Japan

According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, the average price of a newly built house in Japan was around 33 million yen ($300,000) in 2020. However, this varies depending on the area.

Additional Costs

In addition to the purchase price of the property, buyers should also factor in additional costs such as real estate agent fees, legal fees, taxes, and inspection fees. These costs can add up quickly and can increase the overall price of buying a home by up to 10% or more.

Mortgages and Financing Options

Getting a mortgage in Japan can be challenging for foreigners due to language barriers and differences in lending practices. However, some banks offer loans to foreigners with permanent residency or those who have been living in Japan for several years.

Buying vs. Renting

While owning a home can be a great investment opportunity, renting may be more affordable for those who are not planning on staying in Japan long-term. Renting also allows for more flexibility and less financial responsibility.

Types of Properties Available

In Japan, there are various types of properties available for purchase such as detached homes (一戸建て), apartments (マンション), and land (土地). Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Location Considerations

When deciding where to buy a house in Japan, it’s essential to consider factors such as proximity to transportation, schools, shopping centers, and other amenities. Additionally, some areas may be prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes or typhoons.

The Real Estate Market in Japan

The real estate market in Japan has been growing steadily over the past few years due to low-interest rates and an increase in foreign investment. However, there are concerns about overbuilding and an aging population that could affect future growth.

Foreign Ownership Restrictions

Foreigners can buy property in Japan but may face some restrictions depending on their visa status. For example, those on tourist visas cannot purchase property but may be able to lease it.

Benefits of Owning Property in Japan

Owning property in Japan comes with many benefits such as long-term investment opportunities, cultural immersion opportunities, and potential rental income.


Buying a house in Japan can be an exciting yet challenging process that requires careful consideration of many factors. While the cost of buying property may be high, the benefits of owning a home in this unique country are well worth it.

Is it expensive to own a house in Japan?

According to the OECD, houses in Japan are among the most affordable in the world, yet residents still allocate around 22% of their overall income towards housing expenses.

How much does an average house cost in Japan?

For those interested in urban apartments, there is CityApartment in the city center or apartments outside of the city center in Japan. The average cost of apartments in Japan is 955,429 yen, while in Tokyo it is 1,192,697 yen and in Yokohama it is 2,375,000 yen. For those looking in Fukuoka, the average cost is 715,000 yen. These prices were updated as of March 7, 2022.

How much is a house in Japan in USD?

Last month, the average price of a newly listed house for sale in Japan was ¥35,760,000 (equivalent to $337,000) in the major national markets surveyed.

Can foreigners buy houses Japan?

In Japan, foreigners have almost identical rights to Japanese citizens when it comes to buying property or land. This applies regardless of your residency status or visa type and there are no additional requirements or taxes for foreigners.

Can I live in Japan if I buy a house?

In Japan, foreign individuals face no limitations on owning real estate properties such as land and buildings, regardless of their permanent resident status, nationality, or visa type. This distinguishes Japan from other countries where such restrictions may apply.

Can a US citizen own a house in Japan?

Expatriates can own land and property in Japan without needing to hold citizenship or a residence visa. The process is straightforward and follows the same rules and legal procedures for both Japanese and non-Japanese buyers.

It’s also important to note that the process of buying a home in Japan may differ from that of other countries. For example, real estate agents in Japan are typically not involved in negotiations between buyers and sellers. Instead, negotiations are usually conducted through a third-party mediator or directly between the buyers and sellers.

Another factor to consider is the size of the property. Homes in Japan are generally smaller than those in other countries, which can be a significant adjustment for those used to more spacious living arrangements. However, many Japanese homes are designed to maximize space and functionality, making them more efficient and comfortable.

When buying a home in Japan, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of the local real estate market and cultural norms. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent who is familiar with the area can be helpful in navigating the process and ensuring that all legal requirements are met.

In conclusion, buying a house in Japan can be a rewarding experience for those willing to navigate the unique challenges of the local real estate market. While the cost of purchasing property may be high, the potential benefits of long-term investment, cultural immersion, and rental income make it an attractive option for many buyers. With careful planning and guidance from experienced professionals, owning a home in Japan can be a valuable opportunity for both personal and financial growth.

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