1. Few holidays: The Japanese embrace universal suffrage. Nope, nothing to do with voting, though that is hardly a stretch. The Japanese don't believe in recreation that goes beyond a weekend. So if they can't get there in a weekend, then they dont do it. Few Japanese people have holiday houses because they either can't afford it, they work so hard, or they just are scared to depart from routine. I dare say I have seen more of Japan than 99% of the population, and I've been there just 3 years.
2. Depopulation: This property lies in the northern provinces of Japan which is subject to depopulation. For this reason there is excess housing stock. Parents are dying and children go off to the city for work. This trend might diminish in the next 5 years as food prices increase, but dont count on it, as there are lifestyle reasons for leaving as well.
3. Financial literacy: The Japanese generally dont get much financial literacy education so they are reluctant to take risks, even those which are 'manageable'. Risks are avoided rather than overcome. Safety first.
4. Foreclosed property: This is a foreclosed property, so its particularly cheap. The natural market for this property is local people, but they are not so aware of foreclosures. Owners and family are too ashamed to talk about such things, no one has any money, and no one wants to live here as there are no jobs.
So why would a foreigner want to live here?
So you want the details?
So how to buy?
This foreclosed property is sold through the Akita Prefectural Court through a tender system. If you need further information consider buying the Japan Foreclosed Property Report 2008 above. It describes my experiences buying foreclosed property and the information I gathered in the process. I am also offering population charts in the Saitama & Tokyo area for those who are interested. I do believe this is likely the cheapest property in the world. Its a paradox that it should be found in Japan given that its so hard to escape civilisation in the country. A great place to live if you are not a local.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com