Posts Tagged ‘condos’

Buy now to beat the consumption tax increase … or don’t

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Diagram of new Tokyo condo with flowers marking the units that have been sold

Lookin’ rosy: Diagram of new Tokyo condo with flowers marking the units that have been sold

The term kakekomi kounyu means rushing to buy something at the last minute after hesitating for a long time. The implication is that there is some time limit involved. It’s being used a lot now in the media with reference to the consumption tax, which is scheduled to rise from 5 to 8 percent in April 2014, and then again to 10 percent in October 2015. It’s assumed that many consumers will try to buy big-ticket items before the increase goes into effect in order to save money, and that a good portion will wait until the last minute.

Some economists are advising people to not wait too long, especially if they’re thinking about buying a new home. Recent articles in both the Asahi Shimbun and the weekly magazine Shukan Post say pretty much the same thing on the subject: If you’re thinking about buying a home or a car, you should start planning right now. The Asahi uses the example of a ¥30 million condominium. You can figure that about a third of this is the price of the land, and since land sales are exempt from consumption tax it means you’ll pay tax on ¥20 million.

At present, the tax will come to ¥1 million, but after April 2014 it will go up to ¥1.6 million, and then 18 months later to ¥2 million. If you want to take advantage of this savings, experts say you should move now, because the tax is levied not when you sign the contract for the new home, but when occupancy of the property is “transferred over” (hikiwatashi) into your name, and in most cases the average time between the point when a particular unit goes on sale and the point when the buyer takes possession of it is one year.

So if you want to beat the consumption tax raise you have to start looking now. That’s why so many real estate flyers for new homes stress that “now is the chance.” They really do mean “now,” as in “today.” Moreover, realtors and developers are saying that since there will be a rush to beat the tax, demand will be high and so the longer you wait the less likely it will be that you can find what you want. Prices may even be higher the closer you get to April 2014.

Continue reading about making big purchases before the tax hike →

Old condos finally attract interest

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Blues skies in store for used condo buyers?

Blues skies in store for used condo buyers?

The Japanese media keeps harping on how the prices of condominiums in the major cities are dropping along with the number of housing starts. Obviously, now is the time to buy, though experts always say that if you wait until it’s being reported that it’s time to buy, then it’s already too late.

According to a recent article in Shukan Asahi, condo developers are stuck with inventory that they can’t get rid of, no matter how much they lower the price. Many of these companies are selling their unsold condos to outside agents for as much as 30 percent less. In some cases, these agencies have to sell the units for even less than what they paid for them, basically “dumping” these units onto the housing market. Needless to say there are many people who may be interested in such cheap housing, but finding these units takes more time and effort than they have. There seems to be no one place where this information is available.

What’s finally attracting more interest is older condos that are available dirt cheap. The article uses the example of an editor who bought a small 35-year-old maisonette-style apartment in trendy Kichijoji for only ¥5 million and then spent ¥2 million fixing it up into an “English-style” residence.

Continue reading about dirt-cheap condos →

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