Land values drop for first time in 6 years

The nationwide ‘koji-chika’ (or chika-koji) land valuations for January 1, 2021 have just been announced. Read on if you want to see how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Japan’s real estate market.

The nationwide average land price across all types dropped 0.5%, resulting in the first drop in 6 years. Almost 60% of the 26,000 survey sites saw a year-on-year drop in land values this year, while 19% saw an increase.

Of the 2,586 survey sites in the Tokyo metropolitan area, 116 saw land prices increase, while 1,973 saw a decrease. Residential land in the 23 wards dropped by 0.5% after seeing a 4.6% this time last year. Commercial land saw a 2.1% decrease after a 8.5% increase last year.


Within the 23 wards, Minato and Meguro were the only two wards to see an average increase in land prices, with 0.3% growth. Nerima Ward saw the biggest drop with a 0.9% decrease. Demand remains strong for areas offering good convenience, with some of the top increases seen in Akasaka, Minamiazabu, and even around Ayase Station and Kitasenju Station in Adachi ward. The losers in the residential market were Kamikitazawa 3 Chome, Setagaya (-2.8%), Sakurajosui 5 Chome, Setagaya (-2.7%), and Okura 5 Chome, Setagaya (-2.3%).


The residential land underneath the Homat Royal condominium in Akasaka saw the highest residential land price increase in the 23 wards, with 2.5% growth as of January 1. This site is also a survey point for the Standard Land Price assessments carried out in July each year. As of July 1, 2020, it had increased by 4.19%. Over the past 10 years, the koji-chika land value at this site has increased by an impressive 96%. That may be attributed to its premium location along the same street as the US Embassy and the recently redeveloped Hotel Okura. It is also in close proximity to the massive redevelopment projects underway around the Toranomon neighborhood.


The residential land underneath the luxury Park Mansion Minamiazabu condo saw the 3rd highest increase in residential land prices in Tokyo, with 2.0% growth. This follows an 8.36% increase in 2020. 


The complete wipeout of the inbound tourism market has been devastating on areas that were once bustling with foreign visitors. Taito ward, home to Asakusa, went from a 14.9% increase in 2020 to a 4.0% drop in 2021. Chuo and Shinjuku wards went from increases in the 8% range in 2020 to 3% drops this year.

A survey site alongside a bar street in Ginza 8 Chome saw the biggest drop in commercial land prices in Tokyo with a 12.8% drop. A site in Nishi-Asakusa saw a 12.2% drop, while a site above Asakusa Station saw a 12.0% drop. Shinjuku’s Kabukicho bar district saw a 10.3% decline.

The most expensive land in Japan is under the Yamano Music Building in Ginza, Tokyo. This land was valued at 53,600,000 Yen per square meter in 2021, down 7.1% from 2020 and the first drop in 9 years. Land prices still remain 94% higher than they were 10 years ago and 262% higher than they were in 2002.

The biggest declines nationwide were both in Osaka, with two locations Dotombori seeing a 28.0% and 26.5% drop. Osaka City dominated 8 of the top 10 locations nationwide to see the highest fall in land prices.


Despite the lack of foreign tourists, resort developments in the ski town of Niseko in Hokkaido have been plowing ahead. Kutchan was home to the highest increase in both residential and commercial land prices nationwide in 2021. Commercial land at one site increased by 21%, after seeing a 57% increase in 2020 and a 58% increase in 2019. Land was valued at 121,000 Yen per square meter as of January 1, 2021, up 375% since 2015.

A residential site in Niseko was in top spot nationwide with a 25% increase, after a 44% increase in 2020 and a 50% increase in 2019. Land at this survey site was valued at 135,000 Yen per square meter, up 255% from 2017.

Source: MLIT, March 24, 2021.

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