Buying property in Japan from the UK

Reuben Allonby

Are you captivated by the allure of Japan and considering purchasing property there as a UK resident? Whether it's a modern Tokyo apartment, a traditional house in Kyoto, or a coastal retreat in Okinawa, the Japanese property market offers unique opportunities for international buyers. However, navigating this market and managing cross-border finances can be intricate.

This guide will explore the essentials of buying property in Japan and how to get the most out of your Japanese investment with GBP to JPY international money transfers through Equals Money.

International payments

Understanding the Japanese property market

The Japanese real estate market is known for its unique dynamics, with property prices varying significantly between cities and rural areas. Unlike some countries, Japan has no legal restrictions on foreigners purchasing property, making it an enticing market for UK investors.

1. Finding your ideal property

Japan's property landscape ranges from bustling urban centres to tranquil rural locales. Consider your lifestyle preferences and investment goals when selecting a location. Partnering with a local real estate agent who understands the nuances of the Japanese market can be invaluable.

2. Financial planning and considerations

Financing property in Japan might involve obtaining a mortgage from Japanese banks, which can be challenging for foreigners. Alternatively, arranging funds in the UK and transferring them to Japan via an international payments specialist (like Equals Money) is a viable option. Don't forget to account for additional costs like property taxes, registration fees, and transaction charges.

3. The property buying process in Japan

1. Initial agreement: After selecting a property, you'll enter into a purchase agreement and pay a deposit.

2. Due diligence: Conduct a thorough check of the property's legal standing and physical condition.

3. Finalising the purchase: Complete the transaction by paying the balance, at which point efficient GBP to JPY money transfer becomes essential.

4. Streamlining your investment with efficient money transfers

Managing your finances effectively is crucial in international property transactions:

a. Choosing a currency specialist: Equals Money provides competitive exchange rates for 140+ different global currencies compared to traditional banks, allowing you to make the most out of every transaction.

b. Utilising forward contracts: Currency exchange rates fluctuate constantly, and this can impact the amount you will pay out for a property abroad. Equals Money offers payment solutions such as forward contracts that allow you to fix a current exchange rate for a payment or transfer up to 24 months in advance. This allows you to know in advance how much exactly your investment will cost you in GBP and budget effectively.* You are committed to the rate you’ve booked regardless of how it moves after the fact, presenting a potential disadvantage in choosing a forward contract. However, many looking to invest in property overseas find the stability offered by a forward contract outweighs this disadvantage.

c. Monitoring exchange rates: Keep an eye on the GBP to JPY rates to time your transfers strategically.


Investing in the Japanese property market from the UK can be a fruitful and exciting venture. With a comprehensive understanding of the market and the savvy use of Equals Money for your currency transfers, you can ensure that your investment is as simple and efficient as possible. Embrace the opportunity to be part of Japan’s captivating blend of tradition and modernity.

Request a quote

*Equals Money can only offer forward contracts to facilitate payments for goods and services.

Expert insights on demand

Sign up to our daily market reports to get the latest news and insights on worldwide currency movements straight to your inbox every morning.

Enter your email address below to subscribe.