The biggest property brokerage in Taiwan, Sinyi Realty Co., is helping Taiwanese and Chinese buyers find Japanese real estate investments.
Taiwanese and Chinese buyers are increasingly looking towards alternative markets due to tightening measures introduced by their own governments in an effort to curb rising property prices. Japan presents tempting opportunities due to low interest rates, and rental yields are often double those in China and Taiwan.
Sinyi opened its first branch in Japan in 2010, and expects sales of Japanese property to double due to Chinese investors seeking new markets. The company has 350 branches in Taiwan which account for 90% of its revenue, and it posted a record $69 million net income last year due to a combination of low interest rates and an influx of funds from overseas.
China has raised its interest rates five times since last October, and has limited home purchases in Shanghai and Beijing. Taiwan has increased the cost of borrowing for five straight quarters, and has also introduced a tax on luxury properties sold within two years of purchase. This new tax is likely to lead in a 10% drop in transaction volume this year as speculators are forced out of the market.
The Japanese real estate market is already showing encouraging signs of growth as housing starts rose by 6.4% in May compared to May 2010, and a ¥2 trillion disaster package has been approved for rebuilding property destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami.
At 5% or 6%, rental yields in Japan are around double those currently being achieved in China or Taiwan, which is mainly due to the fact that property prices here haven't increased by anything like the percentage seen in other Asian markets.