People are scrambling to get in on the exciting new housing scheme.

Japan’s capital city of Tokyo is often cited as one of the costliest cities in the world to live in, so it’s not surprising that buying a home in and around the busy metropolis remains a far-fetched dream for many residents.

Now, however, there’s a new housing scheme set to make those dreams come true, with the promise of a brand new home on offer for those willing to make the move to Okutama, Tokyo’s largest municipality.

▼ Despite being within the bounds of Tokyo, Okutama is home to some beautiful stretches of nature.

Located in the western region of the metropolis, Okutama is located roughly 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) west of central Tokyo, and can be reached by train in approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes. With an estimated population of 5,177, the area is aiming to expand in the near future with the introduction of the affordable new housing scheme, which is receiving a lot of interest from around the country.

According to representatives at the Migration Consultation Meeting held in Okutama on the weekend, the town plans to build a series of brand new homes, complete with individual gardens and parking spaces. With each building being roughly 50 square metres (538 feet) in size, the homes are said to be ideal for families, and residents will be able to choose from three different housing sites in the area.

While all of this might sound too good to be true, there are a few conditions that hopeful homebuyers should think about before packing up their belongings. Firstly, only applicants younger than 43 years old with children under junior high school age will be considered for the offer.

Secondly, residents who move in will be required to pay a monthly fee of 50,000 yen (US$466.60) to the town. However, families with two children will be able to pay a reduced fee of 40,000 yen, while families with three children will only be required to pay 35,000 yen per month. With reduced rates for the number of children per household, staff say big families with ten children would be able to live there without paying a single yen.

The final point to consider is the fact that the town requires residents to live in the home for 22 years. Once you’ve held up your end of the bargain, though, the house and property will then be transferred over to your name, making you the official homeowner, from which time you will be able to live in the property without having to pay the monthly fee.

The generous offer and reasonable terms are a practical way of tackling the problem of population decline in the area, which is concerning, given that the current population is 40 percent lower than that of 60 years ago, and approximately half of the current residents in the town are over the age of 65.

By encouraging young families to take up residence in the area, the town hopes to revitalise itself, and ensure its prosperity for years to come, as a hometown for future generations.

Okutama Town will be accepting applications at their local office until 21 May, with occupancy of the new homes expected to commence from next January. Five families have already sent in their applications following the Consultation Meeting on the weekend, and the town is expecting more people to express an interest in the offer in the near future, given the demand received in the past when similar deals were offered, for secondhand homes in the area.

With no need for large-sum upfront deposits, the housing scheme is a great way for hopeful homebuyers to purchase a brand new home, and as a method that’s been adopted by declining towns around Japan in recent years, we hope to see more of these grand incentives spread around Japan, and the rest of the world, in future.

Source: TV Asahi via Livedoor/Golden Times
Featured image: Pakutaso