Real estate | Company lures locals to Japanese, Thai properties

Ivone Mak

With the substantial depreciation of the Japanese yen, foreign investors have flocked to Japanese properties in droves.

As a result, Hong Kong based real estate company TY-Property is eyeing Macau investors to purchase units in the land of the rising sun.

During the weekend, the company held a two-day exhibition promoting property investments in Japan and Thailand.

Properties that were showcased during the exhibition were priced between HKD500,000 and HKD5 million.

During the sessions, speakers from the firm discussed both regions’ economic status and how these affects property markets.

TY-Property, which also has office in Tokyo, first expressed an interest in serving investors from Macau last year, after having received numerous phone calls and emails from potential buyers.

According to Mak, local property investors are interested in acquiring units in Japan for investment purposes, particularly for usage with AirBnb.

Areas such as Minato-Ku, Chuo Ku, Roppongi and Ginza are especially favored, with investors seizing the opportunity to acquire Japanese properties at a lower financial outlay before the yen bounces back.

TY-Property also observed that due to the rapid increase in tourism in the Kansai area, there is always a strong demand for short-term rental properties in the city. Investors have therefore spotted opportunities to provide guesthouses, which allow more frequent lettings as their rental is more competitive than hotels.

Yesterday, the company reportedly closed almost 20 deals from local investors, which according to Mak, indicates high demand.

Since property investment in Macau could be problematic due to the staggering price of residential and commercial units in the region, some locals prefer to invest abroad.

“Macau’s property market is crazy. People cannot invest here so they invest in Japan […] and most importantly, the property price in Japan is not high,” Mak told the Times.

Investors could purchase a unit raging from 25 sqm to 30 sqm for HKD1 million in the heart of Tokyo, with a net yield of 4 to 5 percent.

When asked whether the company is also targeting investors from the mainland, Mak admitted that attracting mainland clients remains a challenge, as mainland clients still cannot transfer significant amounts of money out of China.

However, the company plans to someday hold a similar property exhibition in the mainland.

Meanwhile, around 10 percent of TY-Property’s sales are from Macau residents.

Although the property firm currently has no branches in Macau, they plan to establish one in the region due to high demand.

Mak remarked that locals need further encouragement to invest abroad, unlike in Hong Kong, where residents are keen on investing in both properties and stocks.

“Macau has a big market here but we need to take more time because […] Macau people want to look, study and they take more time to know about the [investment],” Mak observed.

TY-Property saw a slight increase in demand after Japan legalized gambling, as well as the announcement of the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, while property acquired in Japan is often used as an investment, investors in the Thai property market tend to designate units for personal use.

Many investors see the market price in Thailand as attractive. A 35 sqm condominium or residential unit costs around HKD1 million, with a yield of around 5 to 9 percent on average.

Despite the region’s political crisis, property experts noted that housing prices are still rising, along with the demand for rental.

Mak foresees a higher number of local investors in the Japanese property market due to the low yen. According to her, it is a good time for interested investors to explore Japan as a market for investments.

TY-Property also provides services such as interior design and management arrangement for property selection.

The company plans to host a property exhibition every month in Macau.

Categories Macau