I came across this article recently, and I kind of liked it so decided to do a Japanese version. This is the big one. It's the main reason why people outside of Japan cannot understand the situation here, and people in Japan can't understand the real estate situation elsewhere. Basically houses in Japan depreciate, and while land may keep its value, the house on it will be worth less and less as time goes on, going to zero or even minus numbers to account for the costs of demolishing the building after a number of decades.
Japan Home Search: Find the Best Apartments in Tokyo and Beyond
I n the suburban neighbourhood of Midorigaoka, about an hour by train outside Kobe, Japan , all the houses were built by the same company in the same factory. Steel frames fitted out with panel walls and ceilings, these homes were clustered by the hundreds into what was once a brand new commuter town. Daiwa House, one of the biggest prefabricated housing manufacturers in Japan, built this town in the 60s during a postwar housing boom. Most of those houses built in the 60s are no longer standing, having long since been replaced by newer models, finished with fake brick ceramic siding in beiges, pinks and browns.
"Free houses" in Japan: Where they are and how to get one
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By now, rural Japanese towns are so desperate for younger residents that they are giving houses away for free. In , two towns made news with building and giving away houses to young families: Shichikashuku in Miyagi Prefecture and Tsuwano in Shimane Prefecture. Applications have now closed and the new Okutama citizens are expected to move in in January It is likely that more towns will jump on the bandwagon in the future, so keep an eye on the news or subscribe to our Newsletter.