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Abandoned Houses Are Being Given Away For Free In Japan

Jake Massey

| Last updated 

Abandoned Houses Are Being Given Away For Free In Japan

Are you a would-be first-time buyer, struggling to scrape together the pennies to put down a deposit on a house? Sick of properties being snapped up from under your nose, paying extortionate rent and speaking the English language? Do you pine for a free house, skiing and sushi?

If the answer to some of the above questions is yes, than you may be interested in moving to Japan.


The unoccupied buildings are being listed on online databases known as 'akiya banks' - 'akiya' translates as 'abandoned houses'. On these databases there are thousands of properties in decent condition listed for tiny fees, or even no fees at all, according to Insider.

As such, you could become a homeowner even with zero yen to your name, provided you could cover a few taxes and agent fees.

The government are even offering subsidies to encourage people to invest in renovating the houses.

One of the primary reasons for the country's abundance of abandoned houses is attributed to their ageing population.


Another contributory factor is a culture of superstition that is prevalent in the country. Properties associated with 'lonely' deaths, suicide, or murder, are widely considered to be unlucky to inherit. There is even a website called Oshimaland which lists such properties, helping people to steer clear of them.

So if you'd rather live in a house where someone died for free, than in a flat with a damp stench for loads, you know where to head.

Featured Image Credit: Creative Commons/Cy21

Topics: World News

Jake Massey
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