There is a common belief that Japanese only like new things – new cars, new appliances and new homes. However, with the price of new apartments rising and incomes falling, buyers have been turning their attention to older properties on the resale market.
Second-hand apartments can be about 20% lower than the price of a brand new one, although in prime locations in central Tokyo the difference in price is almost zero. As you move to the outer suburbs, eg. 40 minutes by train from Tokyo or Osaka, you can find older properties for about half the price of new ones in the same area. Travel even further and you may find secondhand apartments in 10-year old buildings selling for just 30 ~ 40% of the price of a new apartment.
An apartment’s interior can be upgraded to almost the exact finish as a brand new apartment, although consumers do need to be wary of factors such as the building age and possible issues with piping.