The Japanese real estate markets since the earthquake

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Prior to the earthquake, the property market had slowed down considerably, much like the rest of the western world. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku Region sent the market over the edge for obvious reasons.

Along with the earthquake was the explosion of the Fukushima nuclear reactors that created concern about living in that area. Naturally, people are worried and it has dampened the inflow of tourists and new expatriates.

To add more depressing news to the situation, Moody Investor’s Service, Inc. just recently downgraded the top 3 property/casualty insurers from stable to negative because of the disaster.

There are some investors that are willing to inject funds into the Japan property market. For example, the Singapore-based real estate firm Mapletree Investments just recently announced that it intends to set up a property fund in Japan in order to attract foreign commercial investors.

Resort property investment has only been moderately affected by the disaster. A popular ski resort area is in Niseko which lies in the northern part of Japan. Several Chinese investors are purchasing high-end resort homes so that they have a place to live on their winter holiday here.

These are attractive because they are a good price and only about 50 meters away from the slopes. For example, one high-end resort home was priced at 5 million U.S. Dollars whereas a similar style home in Aspen, Colorado, U.S.A would run 15 million U.S. Dollars. This area has excellent infrastructure with an airport, rail, and bus service connecting destinations near Niseko. Niseko also has some excellent golf courses.

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