Osaka Property Market and Real Estate Guide

(Osaka, Kansai, Southern-Central Honshu, Japan)

Osaka has a welcoming working-class atmosphere that's hard to find in a Japanese metropolis. The city was bombed extensively during WWII, and so virtually everything standing today was built in the last half of the previous century.

Homes and apartments in Osaka are expensive, though not to the extent of other major cities in Japan. This is actually one of the more affordable places to be based, and it is especially well-suited for professionals who liaise with the local industrial bloc on a regular basis.

Some of the most luxurious condominiums and apartments are in Umeda, where the atmosphere hints at Tokyo without the full urban onslaught. Shinsaibashi appeals more to young professionals, while Namba and Tennoji each have respective shopping and dining scenes that are conveniently close to local apartments and townhouses.

Renting Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments are widely available in Kyoto's Umeda, Tennoji and Namba districts. Units in this area cater for visiting professionals who are working with local businesses and corporations. Serviced apartments cost more than the unfurnished variety, but they offer excellent amenities, including functional kitchens and a little bit of extra space.

In most cases, tenants are asked to commit to at least a month's stay, though more may be in order in certain circumstances. As a general rule, the longer an occupant stays, the greater the value. But even in the short term, serviced apartments offer comparable if not superior value to hotels.

Buying Apartments and Houses

Historically, buying homes in Osaka has been a complicated process for foreigners, leading many to settle on renting an apartment for the duration of their stay. However, government regulations have been loosening, and much of today's bureaucracy is tied up in loan origination.

Most banks require the buyer to be a permanent resident of Japan. In some cases, the person may need to have lived here for some time, though this is not an outright law. Typically, the buyer needs to demonstrate that they have at least four million yen in savings. Be advised that a hefty tax (40 percent) is levied against properties that are re-sold within five years of purchase.

Real Estate Agents

Finding an honest, English-speaking real estate agent is the most important thing a prospective buyer can do in Osaka. There are relatively few with a strong command of English, though there are more than enough to fill demand. A lawyer is also an important consideration, as Japan's real estate laws seem to be in constant flux at the moment.

Check out the following Osaka real estate agents:

San Victory
Address: Kikawahigashi, 4-13-17 Yodogawa-ku, Osaka, 532-0012, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 07 2683 0100
San Victory is one of the most prominent real estate agencies serving Greater Osaka.

Address: Higashimikuni 5-1-3, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka, 532-0002, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 07 2032 9832
Email: via website
Takuto maintains an extensive list of some 40,000 properties for sale and rent in Greater Osaka.

Home City Inc.
Address: Tennoji-ku, Osaka Funabashicho 15-21, Osaka, Japan, JP
Tel: +81 06 6191 6700
Email: via website
Home City has offices across Japan, and this one in the city is well-equipped to connect buyers and renters with appropriate properties.