Japan’s resort areas are seeing a dramatic polarization of their property markets. Some areas, such as Karuizawa and Okinawa are seeing prices rise, while other areas are seeing year-on-year falls. Why is this happening?
The Tokyo Branch of the National Tax Agency (NTA) had seized an office building due to the owner’s non-payment of taxes. Immediately prior to the public auction, the owner damaged part of the building and removed electrical wiring and the air-conditioning system and effectively rendered the building unusable. The auction was delayed for 3 months and re-listed at a lower price. According to the NTA, this is an unprecedented situation.
The empty 10 story building in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, was purchased in June, 2009, by a female operator of a nursing care company. The new owner planned to demolish the current building and develop an aged-care rental apartment complex, with a total estimated cost of 2 ~ 4 billion Yen (25.6 ~ 51.2 million USD). However, due to non-payment of taxes, the building was seized by the Tax Agency.
Tokyo residents are flocking to Yatsugatake Nanroku near Kiyosato Station in Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture to purchase vacation homes. Due to the predicted power shortages caused by the nuclear power crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, the Kiyosato area with its cooler summers and relative distance from the Fukushima plant is seeing a revival.
Real estate company, Allcare, who develops holiday homes in the Yatsugatake Nanroku area, has started construction on 12 new homes in the past 2 months. They would normally only build 10~12 homes per year, so they are looking at a big increase in sales for 2011.