JAPAN - The cheaper yen and relatively higher yields compared to other Asian cities have made Japanese commercial and residential properties popular targets for foreign investors in recent months.
The past year or so has seen Japanese real estate firms conducting investment seminars or sales campaigns in Singapore for potential buyers.
Since January, the yen has fallen from about 80 yen to the US dollar to about 100 yen (S$1.28) in recent weeks. In the eyes of investors, this translates into a roughly 20 per cent discount in the value of Japanese properties.
But the weaker yen is not the only reason why foreigners now want a piece of the action.
"Foreign investors are now optimistic that the Japanese economy will change for the better under the Abe administration," said Mr Yoshio Nakayama, director of Xymax, Japan's largest commercial property management company.
It held a seminar in Singapore in February aimed mainly at institutional investors.
"The recent interest in Japanese property is also due to the recognition that Tokyo is a core market, along with New York and London," said Mr Nakayama.
"Right now, we think Tokyo is a good bargain compared to the other two cities."