The housing tax exemption lives!

The government wants to increase the tax exemption on gifts that parents give to their children, so if your folks were inspired by the largesse of Yasuko Hatoyama to her three kids–one of whom is the prime minster and got into hot water because of that largesse–they’ll be able to give you up to ¥20 million tax free, if land minister Seiji Maehara gets his way. Read More

Upside of deflation

Deflation isn’t necessarily supposed to affect housing or transportation, but the Japanese media keeps harping on how the prices of condominiums in the major cities are dropping along with the number of housing starts. Obviously, now is the time to buy, though experts always say that if you wait until others start buying in a so-called buyers market, then you’re already too late.

According to a recent article in Shukan Asahi, many condo developers are stuck with inventory that they can’t get rid of, no matter how much they lower the price. Many of these companies are selling their unsold condos to outside agents for as little as 70 percent off. In many cases, these agencies have to sell the units for even less money than what they paid for them, basically “dumping” these units onto the housing market. Needless to say there are many people who may be interested in such cheap housing but finding these units takes more time and effort than a lot of people have. Read More