Foreigners can own Japanese property  provided you have the cash or finance. Unlike many other countries, there are currently no laws or regulations in Japan that prohibit or control the purchase of Japanese real estate by foreigners. There are no restrictions over residency or visa status. 

Property titles can be registered to a foreign address so no matter where you reside, you are able to buy and sell Japan property.

Property can be purchased in an individual name,  Japanese or Foreign Entity 

Purchasing and owning real estate in Japan will not make you eligible for a residence permit.

Information on residency permits & visas can be found here 

HRE provide a detailed explanation of the procedure and flow of buying Japanese real estate and acquiring proprietary rights to it. It might be possible to gather property information from outside Japan via the Internet, but it will be necessary to visit Japan at least two times in order to inspect prospective property, sign contracts, and conduct the property handover.

HRE PDF brochure or Purchase Procedure table.

When buying real estate in Japan, many of the taxes are based on the fixed asset value of the individual property, which is different to the purchase price. If you have narrowed down your search to a few properties, your agent should be able to provide you with a general estimate of the taxes and costs.

In any case, plan for the fees and taxes to be equivalent to around 6~7% on top of the purchase price.

STAMP TAX 5,000-60,000 YEN +

Stamp tax is paid when signing a construction contract, sales contract or mortgage contract. The tax is based on the purchase price.

Purchase Price Stamp Tax* (Reduced rate)

5 ~ 10 million Yen 5,000 Yen

10 ~ 50 million Yen 10,000 Yen

50 ~ 100 million Yen 30,000 Yen

100 ~ 500 million Yen 60,000 Yen

*The stamp tax rates indicated above are the reduced tax rates which applies to transactions that take place between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2020.


Land: 1.5% of the fixed asset value

Building*: 0.3% of the fixed asset value

This tax is paid upon transfer of ownership, and also when a mortgage is taken out on a property. A judicial scrivener will provide an estimate of the registration tax that must be paid.

The tax rate is 1.5% of the fixed asset value of the land, plus 0.3% of the value of the building (*if the floor area is over 50 sqm, within a certain age, and used as a personal residence). If the property is to be used as a second home or rented out, the tax rate on the building is 2.0% of the fixed asset value.

Mortgage registration tax is 0.4% of the value of the mortgage. For personal residences that meet certain requirements, the tax rate may be reduced to 0.1%.


Land: 1.5% of the fixed asset value

Building: 3.0% of the fixed asset value

You will receive a bill for the real estate acquisition tax from the tax office within 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 secondhand homes and apartments will which vary depending on the age of the building, its size and purpose of use.

BROKERAGE FEES 3% + 60,000 Yen + Consumption tax

If you are using the services of a real estate agent when buying or selling real estate in Japan, you will be required to pay them a brokerage fee or commission of 3% of the base price + 60,000 Yen + consumption tax (currently 10%).

The base price is the consumption tax-free price of the property and will be lower than the actual purchase price if the property includes consumption tax, so make sure you check that your agent has not overcharged you. Consumption tax applies to the building portion of the property if the seller is a company (the consumption tax is payable by the seller).


Fixed asset: 1.4% of the base taxation amount

City tax: 0.3% of the base taxation amount

The annual fixed asset and city taxes will be different for each property, so please check with your agent for the latest tax figures. Taxes will be higher for properties with a larger and more valuable share of land ownership.

You will have to pay the pro-rated taxes to the seller at the time of sale, and then continue to pay these taxes to the tax office each year.

Taxes can be paid once annually, or in quarterly payments.

In Japan, most banks will not lend housing loans to foreigners without a Permanent Residence Visa, as it is understandably a big risk for financial institutions to do so. However, there is still hope for those who hold a certain visa type in Japan and also pass the requirements given by the banks. 


There are very limited options for offshore buyers who want to borrow from a bank in Japan. You may be able to borrow from a bank in your own country, but please be aware that difficulties in pre-approval and differences in loan approval times and valuations may result in private sellers rejecting offers from buyers who require offshore financing.

Important points to remember:

Not all borrowers are able to borrow at a bank’s prime rates. Depending on your personal financial situation, you might not be eligible for the low interest rates advertised in the branch’s window.

Ask your bank about their policies for borrowers who move out of Japan during the term of the loan.

Make sure your bank is able to offer pre-approval. Sellers will not accept any offers without pre-approval and it is not advisable to sign a contract of sale without loan pre-approval.

The loan-to-value ratio will be based on the bank’s assessed value of the property. Be aware that this amount could possibly be lower than the purchase price of the property and you may need to provide additional cash to cover the difference.


Japanese mega banks may be able to provide finance at competitive rates, although you may need to look around to find a branch that is comfortable dealing with foreigners.


Income tax statements showing a stable source of income in Japan. You will also be required to have 1 ~ 3 years of continuous employment at the same company and 3 years local tax returns.

Banks may require that the borrower has the ability to understand Japanese-language documents.


If you have a Japanese spouse or spouse with permanent residency, live in Japan, have worked for several years in Japan at the same company and some fluency in Japanese, you may also be able to apply at most Japanese mega banks. As above, you may need to shop around.

If you do not have a Japanese spouse or spouse with permanent residency, but live in Japan and have worked for several years in Japan at the same company, you may also try SMBC Trust Bank Prestia for a home mortgage or investment property loan.


Property insurance protects you against loss or damage to personal property, which includes homes and home contents. Standard homeowner insurance policies provide coverage for liability claims, medical payments to third parties, legal costs, as well as for damage to your home or contents caused by theft, fire, storms, smoke, frozen pipes, and ice or snow. Standard policies are typically about ¥40,000 – ¥100,000 for two years.

The General Insurance Rating Organization of Japan (GIROJ) also has a comprehensive English guide to Japan’s earthquake insurance system here.


Since Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries, earthquake coverage is not included in standard insurance policies and must be obtained separately. Unless you add earthquake coverage to your policy, any loss or damage due to earthquake, or fire as a result of earthquake, will not be covered. Typical policies for earthquake coverage are usually about ¥100,000 – ¥200,000 for two years.

Earthquake insurance is an additional option on top of fire insurance. You cannot just have earthquake insurance on its own – it must be added to your fire insurance plan. Fire insurance is optional to home and apartment owners, although if applying for a mortgage the bank will usually require the buyer to take out fire insurance.

The Ministry of Finance has an English guide to Japan’s earthquake insurance system here.

The below information is provided as a guide only. For details on Japanese taxes, please contact an accounting or tax specialist. 

Useful Tax information can be found here



If you are a non-resident (ie. you live overseas) and have purchased an investment property in Japan, any rental income arising from property located in Japan will be subject to Japan’s withholding tax.

Rental income from real estate is reported on your Japanese income tax statement. It includes revenue received from all types of real estate, such as residential apartments, land and carparks that you are renting out to tenants.

The withholding tax rate on rental income is 20.42%.

If the tenant is a corporation (eg. a company renting the apartment for their employee), the tenant must withhold 20.42% of the monthly rent and pay it to the tax office by the 10th day of the following month. A corporate tenant is considered more adept at accounting and taxation practices, so this responsibility is placed on them.

If the tenant is a private individual, they are not required to withhold any rent (it is considered bothersome for a private tenant to worry about this). This does not mean that you, as a landlord, can avoid paying any taxes as the income will still be classed as rental income from real estate and you will still be taxed as a non-resident. Instead, your rental management company or accountant is obligated to deduct 20.42% from the rent and pay the tax office each month.


If you sell a property in Japan while a non-resident (eg. you are living overseas), the buyer must pay 10.21% of the purchase price to the tax office and the remaining 89.79% to you if certain conditions are met. If a capital gain is made, you will also be liable for capital gains tax (see here). Any excess can be refunded after submitting a tax return.

There may be situations where the withholding tax is not required upon sale, such as when the sale price is below a certain amount. Please consult with a tax accountant for more information.


A capital gain is the profit realised on the sale of a property. Capital gains tax is charged on the taxable portion of the gain. Any gain is declared on your income tax statement as ‘other income‘ and is taxed separately to your own income.

Both residents and non-residents (eg. those living overseas) are liable to pay this tax, although non-residents are not required to pay the municipal tax.

Also, both foreign and domestic investors may be liable to pay consumption tax to the Japanese tax office upon the sale of Japanese property. This may include private individuals who were renting out their property to a tenant.

If you are a resident of Japan for tax purposes, you may also be liable to pay capital gains tax on the sale of property overseas.

For residents of Japan (those working and living in Japan):

  • If held less than 5 years: 30% income tax + 9% municipal tax*¹ + 2.1% Tohoku reconstruction tax*²
  • If held for more than 5 years: 15% income tax + 5% municipal tax + 2.1% Tohoku reconstruction tax

For non-residents (those living overseas):

  • If held less than 5 years: 30% income tax + 2.1% Tohoku reconstruction tax
  • If held for more than 5 years: 15% income tax + 2.1% Tohoku reconstruction tax

Hakuba is a pristine destination renowned for its natural beauty and snowfall with around 8 metres of snow falling annually. When designing and building a home in such an Alpine environment, it is important to take into consideration the effect these conditions will have on your property. Please be sure to discuss concerns and the process with your selected builder .

As the market evolves in Hakuba , there are more property management options available in the area . Your property type , usage and location are important factors when considering a manager .Please see some links below to Hakuba Property Managers 

Luxury Properties

Wadano Area

Various Locations

Echoland / Misorano Area