Holiday home buyers drawn to Kyoto

Kyoto City is fast becoming a hotspot for out-of-towners buying holiday homes.

One local agent was initially worried about the relatively high 100 million Yen price tag on a three bedroom apartment they had listed in the city center. However, it quickly sold to a buyer from the greater Tokyo area who wanted a weekender in Kyoto. Most of the agent’s buyers of apartments priced over 70 million Yen have been middle and old age customers from outside the prefecture looking for urban vacation homes.

According to an estimate by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, there were approximately 1,500 holiday homes within Kyoto City in 2013. The true number is likely to be much higher.

It’s not just Tokyo-ites that are leading the boom. Buyers from other Asian countries, Europe and North America are buying homes in the historic city, where prices are still comparatively affordable when compared to other international destinations. Many buyers come from management ranks in top foreign IT companies. 

With the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo next year, the World Expo in Osaka in 2025, and the future legalization of casinos, inbound tourism is likely to encourage further demand for holiday homes. 

Growth in the number of holiday home-owners isn’t necessarily great news for local businesses as the homes are kept empty most of the year, while neighborhood eateries and service providers don’t see any increased foot traffic that would normally come with new residents. 

Kyoto’s luxury property market

  • A 96 sqm (1,033 sq.ft), three-bedroom penthouse in a newly-built condo near Karasuma Station is listed for 248,000,000 Yen (approx. 2.27 million USD).
  • A 143 sqm (1,539 sq.ft), three-bedroom penthouse in a two-year old condo near the Nishiki Market is listed for 320,000,000 Yen (approx. 2.93 million USD).
  • A 214 sqm (2,303 sq.ft), two-bedroom apartment in a 29-yr old building overlooking Kamo River is listed for 337,000,000 Yen (approx. 3.08 million USD).
  • A 109 sqm (1,173 sq.ft), two-bedroom apartment in The Parkhouse Kyoto Kamogawa Gosho-Higashi is listed for 190,000,000 Yen (approx. 1.74 million USD).
  • A 316 sqm (3,400 sq.ft) five-bedroom house near the Shugakuin Imperial Villa is listed for 700,000,000 Yen (approx. 6.40 million USD).
  • A 265 sqm (2,851 sq.ft) eight-bedroom house near Yasaka and Kiyomizu-dera is listed for 498,000,000 Yen (approx. 4.56 million USD).
  • A 267 sqm (2,873 sq.ft) three-bedroom house near Kyoto City Hall is listed for 398,000,000 Yen (approx. 3.64 million USD).
  • A 186 sqm (2,001 sq.ft) 92-year old traditional merchant house near Nijo Castle is listed for 380,000,000 Yen (approx. 3.50 million USD).
  • A 135 sqm (1,452 sq.ft) 120-year old machiya Kamo River and the Imperial Palace is listed for 158,000,000 Yen (approx. 1.44 million USD).

Source: The Kyoto Shimbun, May 24, 2019.

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