Heeled Taiwanese grabbing Japan property as yen slips, Olympics near

JIJI

Well-off Taiwanese are going on a buying spree for real estate in Japan, encouraged by Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and the yen’s weakness.

Sales contracts for 2013 at Taiwanese realtor Sinyi Realty Inc.’s Japanese arm, a sales agent that offers Taiwanese investors luxury condominiums in the Tokyo metropolitan area, are expected to quadruple from the previous year to 10 billion New Taiwan dollars.

From January to October, the value of contracts at the Japanese arm exceeded NT$8 billion, far more than the combined total of NT$4.07 billion for 2011 and 2012.

Land prices in Tokyo fell some 20 percent due to the weaker yen and are reasonable compared with those in Taiwan, the president of the Japanese arm said. By the end of the year, the value of contracts is certain to top NT$10 billion, the president said.

Shin Kong Investment Co., a Taipei-based real estate firm affiliated with major Taiwanese financial and business conglomerate Shin Kong group, has been holding briefing sessions for people interested in buying real estate in Japan.

Pointing to the yen’s weakness and the Olympics, the company tells them that now is a once-in-five-decade chance.

Condominiums priced at ¥30 million to ¥50 million in Tokyo neighborhoods like Minato, Setagaya and Shibuya wards have been attracting demand. Some 70 percent of Taiwanese customers buy them for investment. They include not only wealthy people such as business managers and doctors but also ordinary corporate employees, according to the company.

The popularity of Japanese real estate is expected to continue for a while, a senior official at Shinko Kong Investment said.