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FAQ - Buying Niseko Property

Everything you need to know about buying and selling property in Japan.

Select a question below to learn more about buying, selling, and renting real estate in Japan. If there’s anything not covered here, please contact our helpful Niseko Real Estate sales team.

Can foreign non-residents buy real estate in Japan?

Yes, they can. There are no restrictions for foreign non-residents to purchase real estate in Japan.

Is the land in Niseko free hold title?

Yes, land is free hold title, with the exception of limited areas around Annupuri ski field.

What is the general sales procedure to buy real estate in Japan?

Niseko Real Estate appoints an English-speaking solicitor to represent you in Japan. The solicitor checks contracts, confirms that all mortgages have been cleared from the property, and completes the title deed registration on your behalf.

While both parties are approving contract details, we request that deposit monies be transferred to our secure holding account. Upon receiving the Vendor’s signature (or Japanese stamp) on the contracts, we will on your command will release deposit monies to the Vendor.

Contracts are then forwarded to you for signing and we request that you return the Vendor’s copy. Contracts are presented in both Japanese and English. The English version is a translation only.

At time of deposit, the solicitor’s fee as well as 50% of Niseko Real Estate agent’s fee is due. (Standard Japanese agent’s fee is 3% of sale price and 60,000 yen, plus 10% consumption tax on this figure.) Prior to settlement date we require closing funds to be transferred to our holding account.

Signed Power of Attorney and Statutory Declaration documents are also required at this time. These documents will be provided to you by the solicitor after deposit is complete, and are needed to complete property title transfer and registration at time of settlement.

With your written authorisation, we will make the settlement payment on the appointed day and the title deed is transferred into your name (registration takes five working days). The title deed will then be sent to you by registered courier. At time of settlement, payment of a one-time stamp duty tax and a one-time real estate acquisition tax is required. In addition, registration charges as well as the pro-rated fixed asset tax (property tax) amount for the remainder of the calendar year will also be due. At this time Niseko Real Estate will also request the remaining 50% agent’s fee payment.

Visit this page for a detailed breakdown of the Japan property purchasing process.

How are property taxes levied?

Fixed asset taxes are levied once a year based on the size and construction of your property or land. Kutchan town council is responsible for calculating the amount of the tax. This tax is calculated based on a 365 day year.

When purchasing a property, initial fixed asset tax will be calculated from the date of settlement until December 31st of the same year.

PLEASE NOTE: If you do not reside in Japan, you are required to have a ‘tax manager’ to coordinate the payment of fixed asset tax. Niseko Real Estate can assist in appointing a ‘tax manager’ if so required.

Is it possible for foreign non-residents to obtain financing through a Japanese bank?

In general, it is extremely difficult for foreigners to obtain financing through a Japanese bank. At a minimum, permanent residency status and collateral (in Japan) is needed for your application to be considered.

What services does the solicitor provide?

The solicitor represents you in Japan and does the following:

  1. Checks the contents of the Sale Contract
  2. Is responsible for title registration in the buyer’s name
  3. Confirms that any existing debts have been erased from the property
  4. Provides the title deed
Are there any building restrictions in Niseko?

The following building restrictions are in place for Hirafu Village (under the jurisdiction of Kutchan Town)

  • The Center Village area (Upper Hirafu Village and along Route 343) Building footprint: 40% Coverage ratio: 300% Building height: 22m max
  • The Pension Village area (Middle and Lower Hirafu Village) Building footprint: 50% Coverage ratio: 200% Building height: 13m max In addition to the above, building setbacks are in place.

These will vary according to the size of your building as well as the adjoining road.

For full details on building restrictions, including restrictions for areas outside of Hirafu Village, please contact us.

Are there reputable property management companies to look after my investment?

Yes, whether you own a luxury penthouse apartment or a small cottage, there are a number of quality firms based in Niseko to look after your property year-round. Niseko Real Estate does not carry out property management, but we would be happy to refer you to multiple firms to allow you to shop and compare services and pricing packages.

I own a property in Niseko and am considering selling. How does the process unfold?

If you are considering selling your property, please contact us for an obligation-free valuation. Here at NRE we pride ourselves in having the longest and most successful track record of sales to the overseas market in Niseko, across all categories of real estate.

Upon being contacted by you, we will inspect your property and provide you with a price which matches the current market.

Our listings our promoted both through targeted web and print mediums, with regularly scheduled trips to key markets such Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia.

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