Besides the fact the land prices were coming down this year, another great incentive was the “special tax deduction on purchase of a new dwelling or house”. Essentially, if you bought a new house from 2009 to 2010 and lived in it for more than 6 months you are eligible up to a maximum of 500,000 in tax credits FOR TEN YEARS. That’s up to 5 Million yen! Now this is an awfully simplistic explanation as there are conditions but they are not unreasonable. Go to the link if you A) don’t believe me and B) want all the gritty details (use Google Translate if you can’t read the Japanese):
The link below is a tax credit simulator which takes inputs such as your yearly income, Loan amount, term and interest and deduces how much you’ll save from the Tax man.
In our situation since we won’t be living in the actual house until 2011, the maximum credit drops to 400,000 for 10 Years, which is a bit of bummer. But I’ll take it :)
Not much information in English about this but if you want to research more and are adept at reading broken Google Translate English use the following search terms:
住宅ローン控除 (じゅうたく ろーん こうじょ）
住宅ローン減税 （じゅうたく ろーん げんぜい）