Because land available for farming is scarce in Japan, real estate developments are given lower priority when it comes to dividing the turf. However, it has been reported that the farming market has been affected because of the recent disaster. Many overseas buyers of Japanese farm exports are not placing orders because of fears of radiation-tainted crops. The result is that some farms are closing down and Japan is looking at releasing the land for development.
Metropolitan areas are densely packed and developments are built in zones. Because of the density, apartment rentals are very popular. Many of the major real estate companies offering rental properties see the demand steadily increasing in the near future. Some actually say that there has been no slowdown in those looking for apartments in the Tokyo area. This is due to the fact that more people are moving from the country into Tokyo.
Even though there is some migration into major population centers, people for the most part are staying right where they are at. But many expatriates left Japan after the earthquake and so reports are that you can find some good deals in the high-end western style housing market. There is a difference between western-style houses/apartments and local Japanese style. Thus, you might be able to find some good bargains on these vacated western-style homes.