Logged in

loghousecatDesigner homes are a luxury anywhere in the world, but in Japan they are even more so given the price of land and the cost of construction. And until not too long ago homes that were considered “distinctive,” meaning that they were obviously designed and built to the specifications of their original owners, were considered risky by bank lenders, who believed their distinction would make them difficult to resell, regardless of their quality. Read More

Putting on heirs

The Nihon Keizai newspaper reports that the land ministry is seriously “studying” yet another housing-related tax reform that will effectively increase the tax exemption for inheritances from parents to children if the inheritance is used to buy/build a home or reform an existing home. Currently, up to ¥6.1 million of an inheritance is exempt from tax if it is used for housing. The ministry wants to increase it to ¥20 million. Read More

Comparative payoffs

The Oct. 10 issue of the weekly financial magazine Toyo Keizai lists the price earnings ratios (PER) of used properties in accordance with their closest railway stations in the Tokyo Metropolitan, Kinki, and Chubu regions. PER is more commonly used to determine the value of stocks. Toyo Keizai uses it to compare housing as an investment, specifically when a property is bought to generate income in the form of rent. PER = condo price / (monthly rent X 12). PER is an important indicator since more and more people are investing in rental housing. A lower PER means a better return on investment. In order to make the statistics meaningful, all the PERs are for 70 square meter apartments. Some representative numbers from the list are included after the jump. Read More

The blacklist is back

More than a month ago Yen For Living reported on a plan by a group of rental guarantee companies to develop a blacklist of rental scofflaws. The plan was temporarily shelved after rental guarantee companies that didn’t belong to the association complained, saying that business was bad enough right now without alienating potential renters, and NPOs protested, saying that such a blacklist would only create more homeless.

Well, according to the Asahi Shimbun, the association has turned around again. They are now dead set on making sure the blacklist becomes a reality, though now they insist it should be called a database, since it will not only list people who have repeatedly been delinquent in rent payments, but will also list people who have been consistent in their payments. Read More