Land values drop nationwide for second year, but increase in Tokyo

Japan’s Standard Land Prices were announced yesterday by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). The national average dropped by 0.4% from last year. This is the second year in a row to see a decline, but it is a slight improvement from last year’s 0.6% drop. The nationwide average has been in the negative for 27 of the past 30 years.

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Rosenka land values increase for 4th year in a row

Kyoto’s Minami-za Kabuki Theatre

The rosenka land values for 2019 were announced by the National Tax Agency on July 1. Nationwide, land values increased by 1.3%. This is the fourth year in a row to record a year-on-year increase. The rate of growth has also expanded, following 0.7% in 2018, 0.4% in 2017 and 0.2% in 2016. This is the first time to see four years of consecutive growth since 1992.

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Price growth in Tokyo more subdued than the 2007 mini-bubble

Earlier this year, rosenka tax values at a section of ultra-prime commercial land in Tokyo’s Ginza district increased by 26% from the previous year to a record high of 40,320,000 Yen per square meter, exceeding the previous high of 36,500,000 Yen/sqm in 1992 and causing some to warn of an impending bubble and overheating of the property market in the nation’s capital.

There is valid cause for concern in some sectors of the investment-property market due to potential over-construction and over-lending to landowners to build small blocks of ‘apaato’ type rental flats in suburban areas with low rental demand.

But are current conditions mimicking previous bubbles?

This time around Japan is getting more foreign tourists than ever before, boosting revenues for both hotels and retails shops, making the increase in commercial real estate values much more pronounced than the residential market which relies more on real domestic demand.

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Japan’s residential land prices increase for first time in 9 years

For the first time in 9 years the nationwide koji-chika assessed land value for residential land across Japan increased from the previous year. In 2017, the residential land value increased by 0.022% from 2016. This is in contrast to a 0.2% decrease reported in 2016.

Of the 17,909 residential survey sites nationwide, 34% reported an annual increase in land values while 43% reported a decrease. The difference was particularly noticeable for land that was within walking distance to transport and shops compared to land that was further from the station and generally considered to be inconvenient. Residential land prices in regional areas decreased by 0.4%. This was the 25th year in a row to record a decrease, although the rate of decline has been shrinking for the past 7 years.

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