It’s being offered in a bid to solve their “akiya” problem.
Anyone who has played the “renting” game in London has probably been left feeling very empty at some point; at the beginning of each month when your bank balance takes a beating, probably. But, in Japan, empty properties – “akiya” – has become such a big issue that you could pick yourself an empty one for less money than a month’s rent for most people here in London.
After spending months locked down in cramped flats, we’re sure many Londoners may are now thinking an entire house for around $500 is an absolute no brainer. “That’s practically giving them away,” we hear you say – and some local authorities actually are, with some houses going to people on the… house.
So, for about £362, you could have yourself a home. Plus, authorities are even offering further incentives, such as renovation grants and subsidised childcare for families who take up their offer.
Due to Japan’s ageing population, many houses become vacant once inhabitants move into care homes or pass away, and with fewer young people at the house-buying age, many houses remain empty. In the 2018 Housing and Land Survey, it was found that 8.49 million (13.6%) of Japan’s houses were empty.
Vacancy rates in areas like Wakayama, Tokushima, Kagoshima and Kochi is rising, with all reporting over 18% of houses not having any inhabitants. There is also reportedly many vacant houses on the outskirts of Osaka and Tokyo.
If a cheap-as-chips new gaff in an exciting new country move sounds like your thing, then you can check out websites dedicated to the “Akiya” issue in Japan.