It seems there are a few buyers of the Japan Foreclosed Report who are prepared to come out and describe how they are doing it. Understandably not everyone wants to speak. Having said that, the market is huge. We need to remember that Japan did not have an unemployment problem until fairly recently, so unemployment is a potential source of 'fairly new' foreclosures. I think asset deflation would have been a bigger concern for the banks years ago as they sought to clean up their balance sheets. I see in the latest employment statistics that only 65% of new university graduates secured jobs last year - the lowest uptake in decades. We need also to remember the depopulation of rural Japan has resulted in the vacating of properties in those areas. With no tenants, they lie vacant, and are the first assets to be sold off by stressed buyers, who might have ‘over-encumbered’ themselves buying a more expensive 2nd home. i.e. Westerners are accustomed to renovating homes. Japanese people simply tend to build new ones. I don't know why. The old ones are probably not as structural sound, but they work ok by my estimate. It is not the land of financial literacy, so don't expect any of that.
The latest person to give us a description of his experiences buying foreclosed property is a New Zealander married to a Japanese national. He bought a foreclosed house & lot in Kyoto at auction last year. He spent 5 weeks renovating it, presumably whilst holidaying in Japan, since he lives in Auckland. He has placed the property up for auction. He has offered to provide more information, so I look forward to that. Meanwhile, some of his feedback on the Japan Foreclosed Guide ebook:
“The information you supplied was a good indicator of what to expect”.“I plan to repeat this process this year and purchase a second property”."I agree with your opinion that there is great potential in this market which is more than I can say for NZ".
If you are interested in John’s experiences renovating his property, I suggest going to his Japan blog. I also describe my renovation insights in the book, but his were more extensive.