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Why invest in Kyoto real estate?

Ah, Kyoto. The Imperial City for a thousand years. Home to countless UNESCO World Heritage Buddhist temples, Shinto Shrines, Palaces, gardens, narrow winding streets, tea shops, geishas, and tiny Michelin Star restaurants in back alleys. The cultural and spiritual capital of Japan since the year 794AD, visited and loved by millions every year.

But Kyoto is also in many ways a modern and cutting-edge city. It’s home to Nintendo and countless animation, graphic design and gaming companies, and is one of the world’s most prominent seats of learning. Kyoto’s many universities and research centres attract thousands of international graduate and post-graduate students every year and are leading the field in areas as diverse as medicine, robotics and computer sciences.

Kyoto also has a thriving and growing real estate market, not least in the purchasing, restoration and investing in its base housing stock; the traditional Kyoto shophouses (Kyomachiya).

The Kyoto real estate market
Heritage Homes is a development company and licensed real estate agent in Kyoto. Here in our hometown in Kyoto, we buy, restore and sell pre-war Machiya shophouses in the heart of the city, and we also buy, restore and sell historical residences in the foothills of north Kyoto. We only work with heritage buildings. Our passion and our expertise are in rescuing and creating value for our customers in heritage and historical homes. This is also, in our opinion, the safest and most lucrative form of real estate investment you can do in Kyoto.
Kyoto Downtown Skyline Kansai Urban City Town Ja

As shown in this graph, the past 10 years have seen an average increase in property values of 6% per annum. In the most central wards, Shimogyo, Minami, Kamigyo, Nakagyo and Higashiyama, the annual increase is closer to 8%. These wards provide not just the best growth opportunities but also the strongest rental yields.

Heritage Homes work primarily in these wards, as we believe that they provide not just the best growth opportunities but also the strongest rental yields.

The property market in Kyoto, especially for heritage properties like Machiyas, is very strong. The very best properties sell on the first or second day of public viewing, most often site unseen, to buyers in Tokyo and overseas. Please bear this in mind when you plan your acquisition of a Kyoto property.
Kyoto Area Map in terms of price & value

To make it easier for you to choose where in Kyoto to invest, we have created this unscientific (but which we believe a good reflection of reality) segmentation of the central Kyoto market for Machiyas. We have divided it into six categories, from A1 (representing absolute prime, in terms of price levels and status, to B3, representing currently low priced and so far underdeveloped areas. Whether you are looking for prime location investment or capital growth opportunities, we hope you will find this helpful. For an in depth-discussion about which areas best suit your particular needs, please contact us.

P.S: Please note that the price difference between a Machiya which can obtain a full, 365-day a year Guesthouse License and a property that cannot is often 30-50%. D.S.

A1 Location

Main Gion Area, Heian Area,
and Properties on Riverside (Kamogawa)

A2 Location

West and South of Imperial Palace,
East of Kamogawa Higashiyama Area

A3 Location

Areas surrounding central A2 from
Imperial Palace down to Shijo Station

B1 Location

Gojo to Kyoto Station Area, South Nijo,
and West of Kyoto University

B2 Location

North of Nijo Area, Imadegawa,
and North of Imperial Palace

B3 Location

West of Senbon area, Enmachi, Nishioji Oike,
and North-East of Kamogawa area
Unrenovated Machiyas

The benefit of buying an unrenovated Machiya is that you can have it restored to exactly fit your needs and taste. Heritage Homes has two highly experienced teams of craftsmen to handle your renovation. All properties have underfloor heating, double glazing, over-dimensioned insulation and energy-saving heat exchange pumps that double as air conditioners. All projects are supervised and warranted by Heritage Homes’ expert team of project managers, each with over 20 years of experience in construction.

The average renovation, including lead times, is 4-6 months. Click here for listings

Renovated Machiyas

You may want a property that you can move into immediately. Heritage Homes occasionally list properties that are not restored by either of our teams. On the rare occasions that we do, we will have thoroughly inspected the property to ensure the quality meets our standards. Click here for listings

In the surrounding countryside

Heritage Homes also offers medium to large historical houses in the foothills north of the city. All our properties are pre-war, wooden houses, built in the traditional ‘kominka’ style, with exquisite woodwork and large gardens, all within an hour of Kyoto. All properties require restoration, which can of course be done by our team of Master Carpenters (Miyadaiku).

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