The Evolution of Ōita, Japan’s Real Estate Market Over the Last Decade

Nestled on the eastern coast of Kyushu, Ōita Prefecture has been quietly transforming. Over the past decade, its real estate market has evolved, reflecting broader economic and demographic trends. As someone who’s kept a close eye on these shifts, I’ve seen firsthand how the winds of change have swept through Ōita’s property landscape.

The Early 2010s: A Market in Flux

Let’s rewind to the early 2010s. Ōita was much like any other mid-sized Japanese prefecture, grappling with an aging population and the challenges of rural depopulation. The real estate market was, frankly, sluggish. Properties lingered on the market, and prices were, to put it mildly, buyer-friendly.

But even then, there were signs of what was to come. The city of Ōita, the prefectural capital, began to see a slow but steady influx of domestic migrants. These were young professionals and families, drawn by the promise of a balanced lifestyle away from the frenetic pace of megacities like Tokyo and Osaka.

Mid-decade: Signs of Revitalization

By the mid-2010s, the Ōita real estate market started to perk up. The prefecture’s natural Hot Springs, or “onsen,” and scenic beauty began to attract more tourists. This uptick in tourism acted as a catalyst for property development, particularly in hospitality and retail sectors.

Investors started to take notice. They saw potential in converting older properties into guesthouses or new developments catering to the burgeoning tourist market. The city of Beppu, famous for its hot Springs, became a hotspot for such investments.

The Onsen Effect and International Appeal

As the decade progressed, Ōita’s onsen towns became more than just a domestic draw. International visitors were discovering the region’s charms, thanks in part to strategic marketing and improved access via Oita Airport. The “onsen effect” was in full swing, and the real estate market was heating up, mirroring the steamy waters of the hot springs themselves.

Properties in prime locations near popular onsen areas saw an increase in value. Entrepreneurs and hotel chains began developing luxury resorts and ryokans, further elevating the market’s profile.

Urban Development and Infrastructure

It wasn’t just the tourism sector that was booming. Ōita’s urban areas, particularly around the capital, were undergoing a transformation. New residential developments sprang up, catering to the growing demand for modern living spaces.

Infrastructure improvements played a key role. The expansion of public transportation networks made commuting easier. This development made outlying areas more accessible and attractive to buyers and renters alike.

Ōita Real Estate Market: A Current Snapshot

Fast forward to today, and the Ōita real estate market is almost unrecognizable from a decade ago. Prices have risen, though they remain reasonable compared to Japan’s largest cities. The market is more dynamic, with a healthy mix of residential, commercial, and tourism-related properties.

There’s a sense of optimism in the air. New businesses are opening, and there’s a buzz around the city that’s hard to ignore. Ōita has found its stride, and the real estate market reflects this newfound confidence.

What’s Driving the Market Now?

Several factors are fueling the current market. The ongoing popularity of onsen tourism is significant, but there’s more to the story. Remote work trends have led some city dwellers to seek out more spacious and affordable living in Ōita.

Moreover, the prefecture’s commitment to renewable energy and sustainability has attracted eco-conscious residents and investors. Ōita’s push towards becoming a “smart city” has also piqued the interest of tech companies and startups.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Ōita’s Real Estate

So, what does the future hold for Ōita’s real estate market? If current trends are anything to go by, the outlook is positive. The prefecture’s blend of natural beauty, urban convenience, and forward-thinking policies is a winning combination.

As remote work becomes more commonplace, Ōita’s appeal to a broader demographic is likely to grow. The real estate market will need to adapt to these changes, but if the last decade is any indication, it’s more than up to the challenge.


  • What makes Ōita’s real estate market unique?

    Ōita’s market is unique due to its combination of natural attractions, like the famous onsen, and its urban development. This blend has created a diverse market that caters to tourists, locals, and expatriates.

  • Is Ōita a good place for foreign real estate investment?

    Yes, it’s an attractive location for investment, especially in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The market is growing, and property prices are competitive compared to Japan’s larger cities.

  • How has the global pandemic affected Ōita’s real estate market?

    The pandemic initially slowed tourism, but the market showed resilience thanks to domestic demand and interest in rural living. As travel restrictions ease, the market is expected to rebound strongly.


In conclusion, the Ōita real estate market has come a long way over the last decade. It’s been a journey marked by revitalization, innovation, and growth. From the sleepy market of the early 2010s to the vibrant and diverse landscape of today, Ōita has proven its ability to adapt and thrive.

For investors, homeowners, and first-time buyers, Ōita offers a compelling mix of opportunity and lifestyle. Its evolution is a testament to the resilience and potential of regional markets in Japan. As we look to the future, one thing is clear: Ōita’s real estate market is not just surviving; it’s flourishing.

For those of us who’ve watched this transformation, it’s been nothing short of remarkable. And for those just discovering Ōita’s charms, welcome to a market that’s as warm and inviting as its famous hot springs.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.