A second LOOK at land prices since the pandemic

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) published their quarterly LOOK Report on November 19. With a survey point of July 1, this is the second report covering changes in land prices since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

According to the 3rd quarter report, land prices decreased in 45% of the locations surveyed, while only 1% of locations saw an increase. In the 2nd quarter report, 30% of locations saw a drop in land prices. 

In the Tokyo area, 79.1% of locations saw land prices remain flat, while 21% saw a decrease. In the previous quarter 88.4% of locations saw no change in land prices while 11.7% saw a decrease. 

The situation is bleak in Osaka with 72% of locations seeing land prices decrease. The remaining 28% of locations saw no change in property values. It was a similar story in Nagoya with 100% of locations reporting a drop in land values, a third of those seeing values drop 3 ~ 6% this quarter. 

Residential vs. Commercial

Nationwide, 81.3% of the surveyed residential sites saw no change in land values while 18.8% reported a decrease. For commercial sites, 41.2% reported no change and 57.4% reported a decrease. 

Sapporo a winner

The only location to see an increase in land prices was the commercial area in front of Sapporo Station in Hokkaido. This may be a short-lived victory as Sapporo struggles with a very recent resurgence in coronavirus cases. As of July, however, the area was benefitting from office demand from IT, callcenter and staffing companies. The national government’s controversial Go To Campaign introduced in July was leading to an anticipated recovery in the city’s tourism industry as people took advantage of the subsidized travel discounts on offer.

Tokyo

The districts in Tokyo to see a fall in land prices were the commercial zones in Ginza, Marunouchi, Yurakucho/Hibiya, Shinjuku 3 Chome, Kabukicho, Shibuya, Ueno and Ikebukuro. 

In Omotesando’s high-end residential neighborhood of Minami Aoyama, land prices remained flat as apartment sale prices and rental values held firm. As one of the country’s leading addresses, demand from wealthy domestic buyers is expected to continue, although that may depend on how long-term the pandemic becomes. 

The popular tourist district of Ueno in Tokyo’s Taito ward saw land values drop 3 ~ 6% this quarter, following a 3 ~ 6% drop in the previous quarter. Additional curbs on late-night hours by restaurants and bars, and the evaporation of the foreign tourist market due to international travel bans has hit local retailers and budget hoteliers hard. Land values are expected to continue to decline in this area for the time being.

Source: The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, November 19, 2020.

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