Fancy a free house in Japan?

Seriously, in Japan, this really happens!  Stumbled across a somewhat sensational article this week about the Japanese Government giving away houses!  Yes, there is not a lot of facts or follow up in Eliza Dumais’ article on thrillist.com but it caught my eye.  Having lived in Japan for the past 20 years, I know this happens.  Local governments in rural and semi-rural Japan are desperate for tax dollars.  The Japanese countryside is beautiful but apart from the rice fields, what work is there for young Japanese people?  So, the rural labor pool drains into the nearest cities leaving more space and less people in the countryside.

Not all of the free houses will look like this!

So why would buy real estate if they are giving it away?

These houses and apartments that are being given away are less than inviting.  You may get lucky with a modern house in a nice town but unless you are running an internet business for an income and will to travel great distances for your social life, what life will you have there?  The vast majority of houses being given away are old and dilapidated, left empty as the next generation seeks employment and convenience in cities.  As the article states, other houses may hide a darker history as well.

What does this mean for JPI investors?

It highlights our strategy of buying properties in cities close to a train station is the right thing to do.  People in Japan demand convenience above everything else.  Tenants will put up with higher rent, noise, small area and basic furnishing as long as they are close to a station and ready for work.  The reason houses are being given away is because they have no real value.  Imagine in your own country a beautiful old house on a large pot of land, huge demand but Japan is different.  Convenience and location are the biggest factor when seeking accommodation and JPI has the local knowledge to find and manage these properties.  Take a look and Japan Property Investments today to see how you can join us on this exciting investment journey.

If you want to read the full article on Gifted Housing, click here.

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