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Sotheby in Japan

Sotheby’s International Realty is now open in Japan. The premier global luxury real estate brokerage firm is an exclusive franchise has open it’s very first branch in Japan. However, it is curious that only now a chain is open in Japan seeing the high standards of living there, I thought they should have capitalized on it years ago.

Tokyo, Apr 4, 2008 – (JCN Newswire) – Urban Corporation (TSE: 8868) today launched Japan Sotheby’s International Realty (incorporated name: K.K. Urban International Properties), a premier global luxury real estate brokerage firm, as part of its exclusive franchise agreement with Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC signed on July 19, 2007. It has opened its first office in Tokyo’s Chiyoda-ku, Kojimachi, paving the way for clients to have access to an unprecedented and unrivaled global real estate network.

Japan Sotheby’s International Realty will operate as the independently owned franchise of the Sotheby’s International Realty(R) brand, which currently consists of 484 offices in 33 countries. By working with the brand’s more than 9,000 brokerage professionals worldwide, Japan Sotheby’s International Realty is able to offer more than 20,000 luxury property listings around the world to Japan’s real estate market. Meanwhile, the launch also provides domestic and foreign clientele with access to the finest domestic property listings, such as luxury residences in metropolitan Tokyo and Osaka, as well as premium resorts and vacation homes in Karuizawa, Okinawa, and throughout Japan.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand has brokered some of the world’s top luxury real estate, concentrating on property listings over US$1.5 million. In 2007, the brand recorded more than 10,000 property transactions. With the rapid growth of the affluent class worldwide and the global expansion of the Sotheby’s International Realty network in strategic regions, the number of transactions is expected to rise in the near future.

Alongside its official business launch, Japan Sotheby’s International Realty has formed partnerships with domestic and international financial institutions that have proven track records for working successfully with domestic affluent clientele, and has promoted business partnerships with a major tax accountant network and key groups such as domestic real estate firms. By joining forces with these potent partners, Japan Sotheby’s International Realty will develop a unique and effective business strategy that is unrivaled and unprecedented in Japan.

Read the rest here…

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Real Estate | No Comments »


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What to expect when you rent an apartment in Japan

Renting an apartment in Japan seems to be quite a tedious business. Reason being, after reading up on the basics on renting in Japan, I realize that there many loopholes in tenures and agreements that comes with apartment rental. For example, the minimum apartment rental is usually 2 years and some foreigners do not stay in Japan for 2 years. Also, some landlords are very reluctant to rent their apartments out to foreigners who do not speak Japanese. The fear of “friction” is what they call it there.

But anyway, if you speak some Japanese and is determine to try looking for an apartment – we’ll walk you through some basics. As accommodation is an important factor in living just about anywhere at all, let’s be familiar with the know-how’s of going about renting an apartment in Japan. Bear in mind, the whole business is not very friendly to foreigners so you would need to go with the flow and do what the Romans do, when you’re in Rome. Or Japan, in this case.

Firstly, most apartments are rented out through a real estate agent. So you would need to look out for listing boards or real estate offices with apartment rental boards usually located outside of their offices. Considering you speak Japanese or your friend is Japanese, you will need to contact the real estate agent to view the apartment and if all goes well, you will be forwarded to these 4 steps of securing yourself a place to stay.

The first stage is the Reservation fee (tetsukekin), you would need to put a down payment to secure the apartment of your interest. It serves as a guarantee to you that the apartment will be reserved for you. The money is like insurance so to show that you are serious about the place – it is usually about 1 month’s rent and will be refunded as soon as the agreement is signed.

The second stage is the Deposit (shikikin) where it is paid as an insurance to cover future damages to the apartment should it happen during your tenure. If there is a damage done to the apartment, the deposit will be used to cover the cost for repairs and the rest will be refunded back to you. The deposit is usually worth a few month’s rent. Unused deposits will be returned.

The third stage of apartment rental is Key Money (reikin); this money is non-refundable and is usually worth a few month’s rent as well.

Fourth and final stage is Service free (chukai tesuryo), a fee for the real estate agent for going to and fro securing your apartment for you. It is non-refundable and the fee is worth about a month’s rent usually.

And here’s a little video about housing in Japan – similar stuff to apartment rentals I suppose :)

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Misc, Real Estate | No Comments »


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History of Rei kin

Rei kin
The naming of Rei kin came from ‘Thank you money’.
Where does Rei kin come from? – It is said that there are some origins:
People gave some thanks money to the house owners, during the period when people had hard time finding a house in Nagoya and Tokyo, etc.

Anyway this custom is very nice for the house / room owners, because they can get this extra income for nothing. Recently this custom disappears little by little.

What are the current situations in all around in Japan?
Sapporo in Hokkaido and Fukuoka in Kyushu: None
Tokyo: Decreasing. 30% are without Rei kin
Nagoya: Still remains, but less than before. There are some without Rei kin
Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto: Still remains. Shiki kin, Rei kin, Deposit are mixed up in these regions.

Anyway, Rei kin is going to disappear, which is very nice for borrowers. I hope one day we do not have to pay extra mean less money near the future!!

More info (only in Japanese)

Posted by Mari in Real Estate | No Comments »


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History of Shiki kin

Shiki kin
Shiki kin is originally a commercial custom. Also this custom differs from region to region. It is said that West Japan is more expensive than East Japan. However there are not big differences nowadays.
Kyoto has been one of the most expensive Shiki kin regions in Japan, (10 to 15 months of rent) but it almost disappeared. The average in Kyoto is 2 to 4 months which is the same as east Japan.

Posted by Mari in Real Estate | No Comments »


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What is Shiki kin / Rei kin?

Would you like to rent a room? How much would you pay for it? JPY 80,0000/Month?
Be careful: You will probably have to pay JPY 400,000 for the first month charge. But why do you have to pay so much?

There is a kind of money system when renting a room in Japan (It depends on the region). The name is Shiki kin / Rei kin.

Shiki kin?
This is Deposit. It should be returned when the contract expires. However, in many cases, the owner of the room will charge you for the damage of the room. The charge is deducted from Shiki Kin. Now the system is changing and some people say this system will disappear in some years.

Rei kin?
This is Key Money. It won’t be returned.

- Next post will include detailed hisotry and Law information

Posted by Mari in Misc, Real Estate | No Comments »


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