Japan Regional Land Prices Up for 1st Time in 31 Years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Land prices in front of JR Gifu Station ranked the highest in Gifu Prefecture.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The average prices of overall and residential land in Japan’s regional areas as of July 1 this year rose for the first time in 31 years, the land ministry said Tuesday.

The year-on-year climb reflected a recovery in residential and commercial land demand, mainly in urban areas, from the COVID-19 crisis.

Japan’s overall land prices increased 1.0 pct on average, up for the second consecutive year.

The national average of residential land prices was up 0.7 pct, with housing demand growing even in suburbs thanks to diversified lifestyles following the spread of remote working.

That of commercial land prices advanced 1.5 pct as land demand to open stores rebounded chiefly in shopping and tourist areas, which attracted more people after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. It was also boosted by strong demand for land for offices and the development of condominiums in urban centers.

The average prices of residential and commercial land grew faster than a year before in all three metropolitan regions of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.

The average commercial land price in regional areas logged the first increase since 2019, prior to the pandemic.

The growth in regional land prices was led by the cities of Sapporo in northern Japan, Sendai in northeastern Japan, Hiroshima in western Japan and Fukuoka in southwestern Japan, where average residential and commercial land prices were up for the 11th straight year thanks to urban redevelopment and condo construction.

Residential land prices rose in 18 of the country’s 47 prefectures, while commercial land prices rose in 22. Both figures increased by four prefectures from a year before.

Residential and commercial land prices shot up especially in regions attracting semiconductor production facilities, such as the city of Chitose, Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, and the town of Ozu, Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

A plot in the Akasaka district of Tokyo’s Minato Ward was the most expensive residential land in the country for five years in a row, at ¥5.24 million per square meter, up from ¥5.04 million.

The title of most expensive commercial plot went to the site of high-end grocery store operator Meidi-Ya Co.’s building in the upscale Ginza district in the Japanese capital’s Chuo Ward for the 18th consecutive year, rising to ¥40.1 million per square meter from ¥39.3 million.

Land prices as of the beginning of July, surveyed by prefectural governments and announced by the land ministry, are one of the major yardsticks for land transactions in the country.