National housing markets differ in many aspects, making cross-national studies a fascinating subject. This article sheds light on housing demand in Germany and Japan. The primary task undertaken is to separate cross-national differences in the structure of housing demand by differing preferences and differing socioeconomic characteristics, exploiting the available cross-country variation in survey data from both countries. This study features the application of a mixed logit model that allows for a flexible substitution pattern among unobservable characteristics. This is an important feature in a comparison between countries since so many cultural and policy differences are impossible to model precisely.