If you are considering purchasing a house in Japan, chances are that Osaka has stolen your heart. Japan’s third largest city and the beating heart of the Kansai region, Osaka solidified its status as a thriving commercial hub as far back as the 16th century. Life here, though, is certainly not all about work and no play: the abundance of shopping, gourmet and entertainment options are truly the envy of the rest of the country, as are the top-quality museums, not to mention the numerous picturesque spots to admire cherry blossom in the spring. As a port town with long links to the Asian continent and the wider world, Osaka also has a distinct international flavor, and the friendliness and openness of its people is bound to charm. In this article we look at average property prices and show some actual examples of houses for sale in Osaka, Japan.
Property prices in Osaka
But what about the property market in this part of Japan? Is it not prohibitively expensive? Well, my website for Japanese real estate resources wouldn’t be called Cheap Houses Japan for nothing! The long and short answer is that Osaka can be extremely affordable depending on where you look, with prices increasing the closer to the commercial and entertainment districts you get. But with extremely convenient public transport available to whisk you from the outermost suburban areas to central districts like Umeda in less than 40 minutes, your options for getting the best out of Osaka may be even greater than you think.
For relatively new apartments within Osaka City, average prices for 10-year-old so-called manshon sized 70m2 in 2019 were:
- $550k for Kita Ward (where Osaka Station and the Umeda district is located)
- $280~310k for Nishi, Naniwa, Abeno and Chuo wards
- $250~270k for Tennoji, Miyakojima, Fukushima, Minato and Joto wards
- $200~230k for wards including Taisho, Higashisumiyoshi, Tsurumi and Asahi wards
- $150~190k for wards including Ikuno, Sumiyoshi, Nishinari and Hirano wards
While my focus with Cheap Houses Japan is primarily older builds with prices much lower than the above averages, this gives you an accurate and perhaps unsurprising view over which areas properties are to be found at a premium (typically nearer the center), versus those that are considered more affordable (further out and older builds).
Actual second-hand homes for sale in Osaka
To showcase the market for older properties, let’s take a look at some actual Osaka real estate listings recently featured on the Cheap Houses Japan Instagram for under $120k, all of which have undergone full or partial renovation in recent years.
It is worth noting that properties like this as a whole are harder to come by: a quick search on Japanese real estate sites will yield homes that are slightly worse-for-wear and need some work. What I hope to show you here is that if you would really like to find something that is ready-to-live, it is not impossible!
These 5 properties are found within Osaka city’s wards, as well as one of its neighbouring small cities.
While this 1LDK home (that is, two rooms including one combined living, dining and kitchen area) comes at a slightly steeper price than the average listing featured on Cheap Houses Japan, as a fully-renovated property in Osaka’s most coveted Kita district, this one is quite the find! With easy access to the major transport hubs of Osaka and Umeda station, the lively shopping at Tenma and charming coffeeshops of Nakazakicho, as well as some of Osaka’s finest museums, you can have it all! The house, an 80s build, features quirky modern design with Japanese touches, such as a tatami-matted nook on the second floor and exposed beams that bring even more dynamic to the space. The only proof of its age is its stainless-steel bath, which was quite common in Japan at one time. There is also a little terrace for laundry (perhaps a few potted plants too) and, to top it all off, the nearest train station is only a 6-minute walk away, making it as convenient as it is comfortable!
Nishinari Ward in Osaka may be home to Osaka’s red-light district and something of a yakuza presence remains, but those of you familiar with Japan will already know that its seedier urban corners are much safer than their counterparts elsewhere in the world, and there can be considerable benefits that offset these less-desirable aspects. Certainly, during the height of pre-Covid tourism, it did not put off foreign travelers from choosing Nishinari as their base from which to explore this enigmatic city, drawn to its down-to-earth vibe, with old local mom-and-pop stores, and delicious eats served up at a fraction of the cost you would find in affluent Namba just to the north. The extremely reasonable price tag for this immaculate, two-story home is just another reason to consider Nishinari as your base too. With full renovations including plumbing works undertaken in 2022, and a shuttered garage on the first floor, this property has everything you need. As with much of Osaka, a supermarket and convenience store, as well as a train station can all be found within a 10-minute radius.
Coming down slightly in price is this modern, 2LDK property in Taisho Ward, which occupies an artificial island overlooking Osaka Bay. The area, while somewhat industrial, still has plenty of character, and an abundant choice of great eateries await you including at the so-called “Little Okinawa” area around Taisho Station. The Kyocera Dome, home to the Orix Buffaloes, is here, as is Osaka’s sole branch of IKEA, and there are numerous parks including along the waterfront, as well as golf ranges and sports centers to enjoy too. In addition to its spacious living/dining/kitchen area, this renovated 2016 property has two Western style rooms fitted with large closets and a small balcony. It is also 11 minutes’ walk away from the aforementioned Taisho Station, which happens to be the only train station servicing the island.
This machiya (that is, a traditional Japanese townhouse) in Osaka’s southeastern Hirano district testifies to the ease of finding quiet and secluded residential areas even in the most densely populated areas. Tucked down a narrow alley some 5 minutes from the nearest train station and a selection of convenience stores, this 1LDK has been recently renovated to preserve the most characterful aspects of the original build. It features a spacious loft, a modern kitchen, and even a rooftop deck, with careful details including underfloor storage and a miniature courtyard garden. Hirano itself has all the amenities you could want, its green parks and the Yamato River make for pleasant weekend strolls, and the Katana Museum and Senkoji Temple are quirky, off-the-beaten-track attractions to take visiting friends. Hirano Station itself is convenient for transfers to Kansai International Airport, via Tennoji.
While a suburb of Osaka, Neyagawa is also not far from historical Nara, which is under 40 minutes’ drive away. While unremarkable as a place to visit, the most redeeming aspect of newer urban developments like Neyagawa is the high quality of properties that can be found with unbeatable prices to boot. This elegantly-renovated home has an edgy modern façade that plays on the koshi latticework found on traditional homes, and an airy and well-lit interior greets you as soon as you walk in. The house has three Western-style rooms with a storage room, as well as a spacious kitchen with plenty of cabinet space, and even has a bathtub with automatic operation and temperature control! The back garden has a newly-installed wooden deck and rear-facing terrace with stairs leading down to it to make the most of sunny days. The nearest train station is a 15-minute walk (with central Osaka under 30 minutes away), and convenience stores, schools and parks are all within easy reach.
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