(TOKYO) The number of sites in Japan where land values were unchanged or increased in the last three months outnumbered spots that fell for the first time in 31/2 years, a land ministry survey showed.
Values at 64 out of 150 locations throughout Japan fell as at Jan 1, compared with 86 sites that were either unchanged or gained, according to a quarterly survey by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism yesterday. The number of sites that had drop in value surged to 86 per cent of the total as at October 2008, compared with 38 per cent in July 2008, weeks after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc filed for bankruptcy.
Land values are recovering as concerns following the March 11 earthquake eased, leading to increases in value of housing around Tokyo bay area, while openings of large-scale commercial developments near stations and demand for apartments in suburban areas improved, the report said. Impact from the strengthening yen and concerns over global economy also weighed on prices, it said.
‘We are seeing signs of a turning point in value declines in real estate,’ said Yutaka Iwaki, a government official who headed the survey.
Japan’s land values are about half of what they were after the peak of Japan’s bubble economy in the 1980s and has continued to fall for 20 straight years, according to separate land ministry data.
The Topix Real Estate Index gained 0.8 per cent at the close of trading in Tokyo yesterday, while the Tokyo Stock Exchange Reit Index fell 0.6 per cent. — Bloomberg
Source: Business Times 23 Feb 2012