Japan has millions of vacant homes you can buy for next to nothing

While the US faces low inventory, Japan's aging, dwindling population has led to a dramatic rise in vacant — “akiya” — homes

TRD NATIONAL /
Dec.December 29, 2018 04:00 PM
Shinjuku (Credit from back: Morio, iStock)

The U.S. housing market is dealing with low inventory — especially in major metro areas — but that’s not the case in Japan.

The world’s third-largest economy has a growing stock of vacant homes, thanks to an aging and dwindling population, according to CNBC. Many of the empty properties are located in rural towns, but some others are in cities like Tokyo.

These homes are being listed at steep discounts — and even free — through websites called “akiya banks,” which are often set up by local governments and communities dealing with the growing stock of abandoned homes.

Akiya means “vacant home” in Japanese. Many properties are listed because their often older owners don’t want to pay property taxes or can’t keep maintain them.

Many of the homes need a healthy dose of TLC, but can be bought for nothing more than taxes and fees.

There were 8.2 million vacant homes in Japan in 2013, or 13.52 percent of the housing stock. That’s up from around 7.6 million, or 13.14 percent of the housing stock, in 2008. The number could exceed 20 percent of housing stock by 2033.

Tokyo had the lowest percentage of vacant homes in the country, at around 11.1 percent. [CNBC] — Dennis Lynch


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Malibu Real Estate Investments principals Bedros Oruncakiel and Kirkor Suri

Malibu spec mansion lists amid softening luxury market

Chandler Parsons and his property on Stone Canyon Road (Credit: Getty Images)

Durant wants out of Malibu, and now Chandler Parsons is listing his Bel Air mansion

CoreLogic's Andrew LePage and Orange County (Credit: Wikipedia)

SoCal housing market shows signs of life, with a caveat: report

Bridge Housing CEO Cynthia Parker and a rendering of the view from Walnut and Anaheim (Credit: SVA Architects)

Fully affordable complex set to rise in vacant Long Beach lot

Tracy Tutor and her Brentwood home

Tracy Tutor of “Million Dollar Listing ” asking a lot more for Brentwood home

Anton Lessine and 321 South Bristol Avenue, and Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine with their home (Credit: Getty Images and Zillow)

This week in celeb real estate: Adam Levine unloads $45M home, a Hollywood film producer sells in Brentwood…and more

Anton Lessine and 321 South Bristol Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

Hollywood producer Anton Lessine sells Brentwood Park mansion for $17M

Andy Reid, the President of MetroStudy

The great SoCal slowdown: Homebuilding drops 18%

arrow_forward_ios