The glut of abandoned homes in Japan has reached 8 million and prices are collapsing while in some areas the number is 15% of the total. Imagine neighborhoods becoming ghost towns with homes that just cannot sell. Like millions of homes that have been left vacant, the cost of renovation is high, so they just sit there as some children who received these properties in the family will cannot afford taxes.
One old home was purchased and workers were dismantling it, they found $200,000 in the walls……the stories are no surprise.
In one case, a woman in her 60s jumped to her death, as she was alone and suffering from depression. Japanese are reluctant to buy a home which experienced a death. Once this phenomenon was primarily in rural areas, but it has slowly moved into suburbs and now into major cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.
Of the 8 million homes that are abandoned, about a fourth will remain that way indefinitely, neither for sale or for rent. To understand Japanese society and especially extended families, note that children move to other cities and find it difficult to manage their parents homes when they pass away so they are left just sitting in disrepair.
There are measures that are being taken that are promoted by the government and municipalities to address this phenomena, including giving subsidies to owners who dismantle the buildings and dispose of the materials, leaving an empty lot, rather than a dilapidated house. Housing starts in Japan increased 6.4 percent from 2016 to 2017 so the empty lots can be used by new builders.
Those from around Asia are now looking at Feng Shui when renovating old buildings as this is a unique model that Asians can relate to. Some people negotiate with owners to sell old homes but these businesses are small and cannot handle the amount of product coming to market. Some properties are being given away, and some are taken for a $5,000 tax fee.
Japan is growing old fast and soon there will be 10,000,000 empty homes, that are wasting away.