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Over the years, this ebook has been enhanced with additional research to offer a comprehensive appraisal of the Japanese foreclosed property market, as well as offering economic and industry analysis. The author travels to Japan regularly to keep abreast of the local market conditions, and has purchased several foreclosed properties, as well as bidding on others. Japan is one of the few markets offering high-yielding property investment opportunities. Contrary to the 'rural depopulation' scepticism, the urban centres are growing, and they have always been a magnet for expatriates in Asia. Japan is a place where expats, investors (big or small) can make highly profitable real estate investments. Japan is a large market, with a plethora of cheap properties up for tender by the courts. Few other Western nations offer such cheap property so close to major infrastructure. Japan is unique in this respect, and it offers such a different life experience, which also makes it special. There is a plethora of property is depopulating rural areas, however there are fortnightly tenders offering plenty of property in Japan's cities as well. I bought a dormitory 1hr from Tokyo for just $US30,000.
You can view foreclosed properties listed for as little as $US10,000 in Japan thanks to depopulation and a culture that is geared towards working for the state. I bought foreclosed properties in Japan and now I reveal all in our expanded 350+page report. The information you need to know, strategies to apply, where to get help, and the tools to use. We even help you avoid the tsunami and nuclear risks since I was a geologist/mining finance analyst in a past life. Check out the "feedback" in our blog for stories of success by customers of our previous reports.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jeepney, bus and taxi drivers hard up

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The Philippines is a poor country, so understandably there is a political incentive to regulate transport fares. Another self-evident fact is that most people would prefer to buy a tricycle or jeepney because apart from functioning as a personal transport vehicle, you can use them to generate income. More interesting perhaps is the lack of interest in riding bicycles in the Philippines. In Japan bicycles are greatly appreciated as a mode of transport, and have been for decades since the country was poor. More interestingly, given the poor quality of roads, is the fact that bicycles can ride faster over rough roads than bicycles, because I can attest to the fact that I am routinely overtaking them. Of course once you get to the open road jeepneys are the most economic transport mode. You might wonder whether hot climate is the reason why people dont like bicycles. That is a possibility. I think for Japanese they go from a walking to a bicycle to a motorbike or car, but given the excellent rail transport, they might not even buy a car.
In the Philippines there is no savings culture. They dont generally have surplus money. They spend everything they get. If they sell a property, they will buy a cheaper house near the highway to free up cash to spend rather than upscaling like people would do in the West. How is this sustainable you might ask? Well, unlike in the West, they have family abroad, and sometimes family in the country, who are willing to support them.
You might think they are happy with this existence. I'm sure some are, but after loading my bike on an SUV yesterday after a mountain bike ride, 'one' Filipino commented 'what a dickhead, riding a bike when he has an SUV'. Well it wasn't my SUV, but anyway. How dare I engage in recreation when people are less comfortable. I might respond 'How dare he think like that when I just bought his cousins property, and might well be buying his next'. How sustainable is his existence? The funny thing was, I was so against this family buying an SUV, and now they regret it. Why buy a vehicle equal to 1/4 the value of your house? And also I knew where fuel prices were going. Its an expense, not an asset.
Jeepney drivers just secured a P0.50 far increase from P8 to P8.50 for the first 4kms. Jeepneys are a great form of transport. Its amazing where you can go with them. Some go down dirt trails. I asked a driver about costs. He was telling me that he makes P500 per day, he pays P1500 per day on fuel, and he uses another driver (likely friend or family), he pays him P400, so he makes just P100 per day for leasing his vehicle. A new jeepney I believe costs around P400,000, so if they are making P100 per day, thats P36,000 per year. At 10% interest, you can't even cover interest and maintenance. So I would suggest they need that fare increase if the supply of jeepneys is going to be sustained. The problem is - these decisions become political.

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