- Is it possible for a foreign non-resident to get a loan from a Japanese bank?
Historically speaking it has been extremely difficult for foreigners to obtain financing for property or land purchase through a Japanese bank.
Foreigners who are permanent residents in Japan and have collateral have a higher success rate.
Note that some areas, including Niseko, have attracted Japanese banks to be more considerate in approving loans. Your real estate agent will be able to provide you with more information.
- Mortgage Fees
If you are purchasing with finance, your bank will charge you fees on top of the mortgage. There may also be fire and life insurance premiums as well. Please contact your bank directly to inquire about the fees as they can vary and there are different options for payment.
- Foreigners Purchase Properties In Japan
Foreigners are definitely allowed to purchase properties in Japan provided they have enough cash or finances. There are no restrictions over residency or visa status. Foreigners can even buy and own Japanese real estate without even visiting the country.
When it comes to obtaining a home loan from a Japanese financial institution, a Japanese residency is required together with a proof of domestic-sourced income.
Property titles can be registered to a foreign address so regardless of where in the world you live, you can buy and sell a variety of properties in Japan.
Purchasing and owning real estate in Japan will not make you eligible for a residence permit.
- What Information are required for a long term rental contract?
・Copy of Resident Card
・Copy of Passport
・Emergency Contact Person Information in Japan and Your Home Country.
・Mobile Phone Number in Japan.
It depends on lessee’s circumstances for what information need to be submitted.
- Property and Asset Management
It is essential to find a reliable company to take care of your property if you are not intending to live in it. Fortunately, there are many reliable management companies throughout Japa. Additionally, in areas with high levels of international ownership, there are options for companies who offer services and support in English.
These companies offer various levels of support including but not limited to:
- tax management
- payment of property bills on your behalf
- letting services if you wish to rent out your apartment
- maintenance and housekeeping services
- organizing local services on your behalf
Your real estate agent will be the best source of information on reputable local management companies.
- What services does the solicitor provide?
The solicitor acts as your representative in Japan.
The solicitor will be responsible for checking ownership of the property, registering the title deeds in your name, and providing those to you once the payment process has been completed.
Your real estate agent will be able to provide you with contacts of solicitors
- Is purchase freehold?
Although some areas in Japan are sold as leasehold, most land and property purchases are 100% freehold.
- Management and Sinking Fund Fees
If you own an apartment in a building, you will be required to pay monthly fees to the building’s management company and to the sinking fund. Management fees go towards the general running of the building while sinking fund fees go towards future repairs and maintenance of the common areas. The fees are calculated based on the size of your apartment, so larger apartments incur higher monthly fees. There may also be additional fees for apartments with roof terraces or gardens.
Typically, fees are set by a developer when a building is new. As the building ages, these fees may have to increase to cover maintenance. The building’s owners management association, made up of apartment owners, has the right to vote to change the fees.
Purchase Related Costs and Taxes
- Property Insurance
Fire insurance is usually required as a condition of a bank loan. Otherwise, it is optional for property buyers. Earthquake insurance is also optional. It cannot be taken out on its own but may be taken out along with fire insurance.
Payouts are limited and vary depending on building age, size, location and level of coverage. Kindly contact an insurer to find out about more about premiums and maximum payouts. For earthquake insurance, maximum payouts may be capped at 50 million yen regardless of the market price of the property.
- Fixed Asset and City Planning Tax
Fixed asset and city planning tax is imposed on fixed assets (houses) owned by the owner.
Tax notices are sent from the local government around May or June to those who own lands or buildings as of January 1 of the current year.
The city planning tax is paid together with the fixed asset tax and is applicable to land and buildings located in urbanization zones under the City Planning Act
- Real Estate Acquisition Tax
The real estate acquisition tax bill will be sent from the tax office and should be received within around 3 ~ 6 months after purchase.
- 1.5% of the fixed asset value of the land.
- 3.0% of the fixed asset value of the building.
The normal tax rate for land is 3% of the fixed asset value, but if the land is designated as ‘building land’ the tax rate is halved.
Deductions apply for new housing and housing that has received long-term superior housing certification. There are also deductions for second hand homes and apartments depending on the age of the building, its size, and purpose of use.
- Registration Fee
When you purchase or build a new house and become the owner of the house, you are required to apply for registration of your rights at the Legal Affairs Bureau to prove this. The registration fee is the cost required when applying for registration. The registration of a house includes the registration of representation, the registration of preservation of ownership, the registration of transfer of ownership, and the registration of establishment of mortgage.
The breakdown of registration fees is as follows
・Registration license tax
・Judicial scrivener’s fee (when a judicial scrivener is requested to apply for registration)
・Other miscellaneous expenses (fees for issuing certificates, etc. after registration is completed, etc.)
- Stamp Duty Tax
Since a sales contract is a taxable document, it must be submitted with stamps for the stipulated amount.
By purchasing and submitting the stamps, you pay a tax called stamp tax.
Stamps are purchased at post offices.
The amount varies depending on the price of the real estate to be purchased. For example, it is 10,000 yen for 30 million to 50 million yen properties.
- Real Estate Commissions
Brokerage commissions are paid to brokerage firms for property searches, mortgage loan representation, and contract-related procedures.
Brokerage fees vary depending on the amount of the property and the brokerage firm, but for properties priced at 4 million yen or more, the following fees are charged:
Brokerage Fee = (Sales Price x 3% + 60,000 yen) + Consumption Tax