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Japan’s Stigmatized Properties and Why They’re Cheap to Buy or Rent

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  • In Japan, dead homes are stigmatized and difficult to sell.
  • However, some agents are building their careers by bringing these “stigmatized” properties to market.
  • Some experts estimate that some of these homes can reduce prices by up to 50%.

Koji Hanahara first set foot in Japan’s “stigmatized property” in a lonely death scene. An old man died alone in his apartment, and his body was found two months later.

I was worried, but I remembered why Hanahara chose to do it.As CEO of Marks Co., Ltd.His job as a Japanese real estate company specializing in cleaning, remodeling and selling stigmatized real estate is to bring these homes back to market, despite history.

“I thought I should do it. At that time, I realized again that it was my mission to help as many people as possible,” Hanahara told insiders.

Build a business centered on “accident properties” that are difficult to sell

The term “Zikobukken”, which means “stigmatized property” or “accidental property,” is most commonly used to describe property in which a suicide, murder, or natural death occurred.

“In Japan, it is said that there are about 30,000 lonely deaths at home, about 13,000 suicides a year, and about 2,000 murders and fire deaths a year, for a total of 45,000 people,” said Mr. Hanahara. rice field. “Not all of these properties have been rented or sold, but in the current situation there are numerous accident properties.”

Not only are these homes difficult to clean, they are almost impossible to sell due to the stigma.

“In Japan, many people have the impression that accident properties are” scary, “” ghost, “and” dirty, “and when choosing real estate, they exclude accident properties,” says Hanahara.

Most realtors want to avoid sharing horrifying details, but Hanahara does the exact opposite.

Koji Hanahara, CEO of Japanese real estate company Marks Co.

Koji Hanahara, CEO of Japanese real estate company Marks Co.

Marks Co., Ltd.

After working for a housing construction company, Hanahara founded his real estate company Marks in 2016. In 2019, she devoted herself to specializing in stigmatized real estate.

List information on his company site, Buddhahood real estateContains a description of the room and details of when and how the previous owner died. Suicide in December 2018 is currently reading one list available for $ 26.8 million ($ 194,857). “The previous owner died indoors in 2014” reads another on the market for 21.8 million yen.

Cheap to rent or buy

Despite the stigma attached to these homes, there is a big plus for buyers and borrowers: price.

Hanahara estimates that prices for properties with lonely deaths tend to fall by 5-10%, and prices for homes with suicides tend to fall by 20-30%. He added that the price of a murdered home could be reduced by as much as 50%.

The site of the 29-square-meter stigmatized condominium in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo is 21.8 million yen. According to data from a Japanese real estate platform, the cost of a non-stigma condominium of the same location in the same location is JPY 27.6 million. Uchinokati..

Google Maps Street View of the apartment where Pawlus-Ono lived with his family

Google Maps Street View of the apartment where Pawlus-Ono lived with his family

Google map

Cheap rents are attractive to some young families. Polish housewife Cassia Porus Ono moved from Australia to Japan in 2019 with her Japanese husband and her daughter.

From March 2019 to May 2021, he lived in the stigmatized land of Hanamigawa Ward, Chiba Prefecture. The former resident was a young mother who died in her house, Paulus Ono said.

Interior of Porous Ono's apartment when moving

Interior of Porous Ono’s apartment when moving

Kasia Pawlus-Ono

“It was about 25,000 yen for half the price,” Porus Ono told insiders. “We basically paid the one-year rent in advance because it was half the original rent due to the condition of the stigmatized property.”

In contrast, the average monthly rent for an apartment in Hanamigawa is JPY 56,084 per person. Uchinokati..

“I think it was a positive experience because the neighbors were fine, and it was strange that it was empty for a long time, so it seems that someone was very happy to move in,” said Paulus Ono. Said. She added that the rent returned to normal prices in a year.

Rent may recover over time, but it does not eliminate the need for agents to notify future tenants of the incident.Japanese Building block and building transaction business law According to Mr. Hanahara, it is forbidden to intentionally withhold facts about properties sold by real estate agents.And in October, new guidelines from Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism The broker has specified that the death must be disclosed if it was a well-known case, if it was involved in fraudulent activity, or if it had a significant impact on decision making. Realtors must also disclose all past deaths, regardless of their nature, if requested by the tenant.

Rothman apartment interior

The interior of Rothman’s apartment.

Scott Rothman

Scott Rothman, US technical director, moved to a stigmatized studio apartment in Shibuya, Tokyo in September 2017. He lived there for over three years.

“I think the rent for two months is free and the rent has been discounted considerably,” Rothman told insiders. “It’s worth much better than I could actually get, and then I even got some free appliances.”

The former renter was an elderly woman who died of natural causes in the house, Rothman said.

How to find stigmatized property in Japan

People can also find stigmatized property in Japan on a website called Oshima Teru..

This site maps stigmatized traits and provides details and dates of incidents that occurred there. However, this is not an official record. The website creator, Teru Oshima, told insiders.

“The landlord has an incentive to check the website because everything on the website has a negative impact on the price of the property,” Oshima said. “They email me, post comments, send direct messages via Twitter, Facebook, or other routes, and if the information is incorrect, contact me to correct it. can.”

Screen grab of Oshima Teru site

Screen grab of Oshima Teru site

Oshima Teru

Marks Co. receives about 2-3 property listing notifications daily, most of which come directly from the deceased’s relatives. The company is also looking for more properties in collaboration with funeral halls and special cleaning companies, Hanahara said.

As for residents, we noticed a tendency for people in their 20s and 30s, single mothers, and single women living in stigmatized homes.And discounted prices are one of the reasons these apartments are attractive, for example in Tokyo 4th highest city Buying real estate in the world — it’s not just money.

“Given living in an accident property, you might think that you are choosing an accident property because you don’t have the money,” says Hanahara. However, he added, the property may have other attractive perks, such as near public transport and new buildings.

Some realtors reserve the handling of stigmatized real estate.

“I know there is a certain amount of demand, but it’s really dangerous,” said Yuki Yanagita, a sales representative for a real estate company. J & F Plaza, Told the insider. J & F Plaza specializes in helping foreigners find real estate in Japan.

In addition to the small number of purchasers, the agency pays for the cost of cleaning the house. Not all companies are willing to undertake, Yanagita said. He added that Japanese people often closely associate stigmatized traits with paranormal phenomena.

But for Hanahara, his goal is to step into the stages of the process that others are moving away from and handle it accurately.

“We will support people who sell the accident property from the stage of the accident,” says Hanahara.

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