Investing in Co-Working Spaces in Asia: A Complete Guide

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The co-working industry has exploded in Asia and it’s currently the fastest-growing market globally.

Not surprisingly, private investors and developers alike try to profit from this new market, and the supply of co-working spaces increases steadily.

It’s not strange, as it’s said that 30% of office space will be co-working spaces in Asia by 2030. Thus, co-working is not a temporary trend, but here to stay long-term.

In this article, you’ll learn the following

  • What is a co-working space?
  • The co-working space business model
  • The co-working space market in Asia
  • How much can I earn when investing in co-working spaces?
  • List of co-working Spaces by Country and Region

What is a co-working space?

Co-working spaces are started by individuals or companies who buy or lease office space and other types of premises, such as residential buildings and villas.

The same as it goes with co-living spaces, the founders sometimes partner up with local investors or property owners, to secure capital or to reduce rents.

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Investing in Co-Living Spaces in Asia: A Complete Guide

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Co-living has become a new big trend in Asia and it’s predicted to transform the real estate markets in many countries.

Everything from established developers to individual investors try to find ways to profit from this growing industry.

Yet, before you decide to invest in co-living spaces, you must understand how the business model works practically and which countries that should be of interest in Asia.

In this article, I explain what co-living spaces are, how it works when investing in co-living spaces, about the markets in the most interesting countries, and more.

What is a co-living space?

Co-living spaces are often started by companies who partner with local property owners to reduce leasing costs, to share the profits and financial burden.

Not rarely, these companies receive funding from investors to start or expand operations.

When a company has bought or leased parts of- or a whole building, they refurbish the units and install the modern amenities and utilities needed.

The units are small and with sizes of around 9 to 25 square meters with simple, but modern furniture like a bed, a desk and a private bathroom.

Here, the idea is to spend time in the common areas, to socialize, and to engage in activities within the community. Many choose to live in co-living spaces to grow their network and to develop as persons.

Typical tenants are young persons who just arrived or that plan to stay short-term and cannot sign rental contracts stretching over 12 months.

That said, you also find locals who opt-in for co-living as it’s convenient and comparably cheap.

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How to Invest in Commercial Property in Japan: A Complete Guide

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Japan continues to be a popular investment destination in Asia. With changes in local policies and eased visa regulations, the commercial market will benefit from the increased amount of tourists and investors.

Interestingly, the Japanese government has significantly revised its projections of the number of inbounds in the coming decade, increased from 20 million to 40 million in 2020, and from 30 million to 60 million in 2030.

People from Hong Kong and Mainland China go to Japan in vast numbers, at the same time as we’ll see future growth from emerging markets like India and Indonesia.

Yet, buying commercial property in Japan requires a bit of planning and caution.

In this article, we review the following:

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Buying Property in Japan: The Definitive Guide

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Suggestion: Watch the 5 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

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Japan is one of the most popular investment destinations for international corporations and individual property buyers. Being one of a few developed countries in APAC, it’s not strange.

Foreigners find Japan as safe and ownership regulations are both transparent and favourable, which is not often the case in many other APAC countries, especially in Southeast Asia.

Not to forget, Japan is very livable and many decide to either settle here, or to buy lifestyle property for holiday or rental purposes.

However, before you buy real estate in Japan, it’s important that you understand the property market outlook, how high property taxes are, if you can get a property loans as a foreigner, about property prices, and more.

In this article, you’ll learn the following:

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5 Countries Where Foreigners Can Buy Land in Asia

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Asian countries have some of the most prominent and promising real estate markets in the world. While some foreigners prefer to buy condos, villas or apartments for investment or self dwelling purposes, you shouldn’t neglect the opportunities to buy land.

Personally, I believe that foreigners believe that it’s too hard to buy land, and from traditional reasons. But more and more people ask what opportunities they have when buying land in Asia. Unfortunately, there are not so many options available.

In this article, I list the 5 countries where you can buy and own land as a foreigner in Asia. Let’s have a look.

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Top Real Estate Agencies in Tokyo: The Definitive Guide

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Tokyo is the financial center and the city that attracts by far the most foreigners in Japan. Even if property is not the cheapest in the region, nor the country, many decide to buy here.

You’ll find a number a real estate agents who have both Japanese and foreign nationals, ready to cater local and overseas buyers. However, the information about the different agencies are rarely summarized in a detailed way.

Therefore, I decided to write this article where I list some of the top real estate agencies in Tokyo. Let’s have a look.

Introductory remark

The real estate agencies are listed in a random order.

1. Colliers International

Colliers International is one of the largest real estate agents with around 70 offices and thousands of employees working worldwide. In 2017, the company officially announced that it will open its first office in Japan, the Managing Director will be Katsuji Tokita who has a long experience of working in the real estate industry.

You’ll see that the company is reputable and has won a number of awards in the Asian region, for example:

a. Euromoney 2016 – Best Overall Advisor & Consultant Award in Asia

b. Euromoney 2015 – Best Agency/Letting Advisor and Consultant Award in Asia

c. REIW Asia Awards for Excellence 2013 – Best Property Advisory/Consultancy

Property types

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Top Real Estate Agencies in Japan: The Definitive Guide

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Japan has long been the favorite spot when foreigners travel or relocate to Asia, in fact, there are around 3 times more foreigners living in Japan compared to China, for example. Of course, this has helped to drive up the demand for property in the residential sector and the commercial sector.

You have a number of real estate agencies to choose among, being one of the financial hearts in Asia, every major player in the real estate industry has set up offices here. You’ll also be able to find a number of local ones that have a long history of helping foreigners who wish to buy properties.

In this article, I list some of the biggest and most popular real estate agencies in Japan.

Introductory remark

The real estate agencies are listed in a random order.

1. Ken Corporation

Ken Corporation established its first office in 1972 and currently has seven offices in Tokyo and one in Yokohama. With an impressive number of 480 professionals and managing around 13,000 properties the company has established a great footprint in Tokyo.

You’ll also find a number of affiliated companies directly connected to Ken Corporation, working with a number of services like hotel management, investment advice, design & construction and more.

Property types

Includes mainly residential properties like apartments, condos and houses.

Services offered

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Top 10 Property Developers in Japan: A Complete Guide

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Japan is one of a few developed countries in Asia and has managed to build up a number of reputable companies over the decades.

Not surprisingly, you’ll find a number of local real estate developers that build different kinds of property, not only in Japan, but also overseas.

In this article, I list some of the biggest and most reputable property developers in Japan.

1. Mori Trust

Mori Trust Co., Ltd. is a leading Japanese real estate developer, headed by Akira Mori, the 7th richest person in Japan. The company was founded in 1970 with a base in Tokyo and is one of the oldest property developers in the country.

It was formerly known as Mori Building Development Co., Ltd but changed name to Mori Trust in 1999. The company owns a multiple number of subsidiaries, including Mori Trust Hotels & Resorts.

Mori Trust is also developing office buildings in the United States.

Property types

They build residential projects, office buildings, apartments, condominiums, hotels, resorts, and retail projects. However, they’re best known for their high-rise condominium residential projects.

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How to Buy Property in Hokkaido: A Complete Guide

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Hokkaido gets increasingly popular among foreign and Japanese investors, who want to find cheaper property, a holiday retreat or just a place to escape the hustle and bustle.

You most often hear that foreigners go to Hokkaido (and often Sapporo) to spend one or two weeks skiing.

The other seasons are also great, offering a great quality of life and astonishing nature.

In this article, I explain all the essentials you need to know when buying property in Hokkaido.

Hokkaido real estate market

Hokkaido and its real estate market are significantly different from the Japanese mainland and the three major Japanese islands.

Firstly: It’s among the least densely populated areas in Japan, the population density is less than 65 people per kilometer.

That’s around 1% compared to the population density in Tokyo, where the density is more than 6000 people per km.

Secondly: it’s the 2nd largest island in Japan, but also the northernmost part of the country, thus exposed to a colder climate, with a comparatively harsher winter season.

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How to Buy Property in Yokohama: The Definitive Guide

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Investors are moving firmly towards the Yokohama property market as Tokyo has gone increasingly expensive over the years.

In fact, Yokohama is an overlooked city that is getting more and more appreciated, not only by locals, but also foreigners.

With an increasing population, the demand will also stay relatively high, compared to many other cities in Japan.

In this article, I explain the essentials when buying property in Yokohama.

Yokohama property market

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan in terms of population, but most populous in terms of density.

The city has become a popular destination for foreigners, in fact, the foreign population has increased to a record number of 8%, and is still growing.

Yokohama is unique for one reason: while its population has increased the past decades, the population in Japan is shrinking.

Even in the 1950’s, Yokohama was the 4th most populous city in Japan, but temporarily climbed to a 1st position in 1985.

So: as the population increases, demand increases. Hong Kongers are some of the foreigners who now turn to Yokohama as property gets too expensive back home.

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