Hong Kong investors are increasingly seeking out property in Japan, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.
The sharp depreciation of the yen, which has fallen below 7 Hong Kong cents, has been a key driver of the trend.
Property agents who handle overseas investments said the number of enquiries they receive has doubled recently. Monthly transaction volumes have risen 75 percent so far this year.
Flats of about 200 square feet in downtown Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka that come with rental contracts are the hottest picks among young investors.
These units cost only HK$300,000 to HK$600,000 apiece and offer annual returns of between 6 percent and 8 percent.
A Buildings Department surveyor has bought three flats in Japan over the past year.
“Japanese tenants are loyal and reliable with rental payments,” the surveyor, surnamed Kwok, told the newspaper.
Commercial properties are another option, but the investment required is much higher, said Wong Chi-long, a manager at JP MyHouse.
A Hong Kong investor who bought five stories of property in Tokyo has rented the space to dentists and internet companies, earning returns of over 4 percent, Wong said.
Some property experts warn that it may be risky to buy apartments in Japan if the yen depreciates faster than home prices increase.
They recommend that investors in Japanese properties be prepared to hold them for at least five to 10 years.
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