Land values up at more sites as Abe pushes for growth

Bloomberg

Land values rose at two-thirds of 150 sites monitored by the government, the biggest increase since 2008, amid increasing housing demand and investment interest in commercial properties.

Values rose at 99 locations nationwide in the three months that ended July 1, a survey by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Tuesday. Eighty land sites rose in the previous quarter.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to end 15 years of deflation through monetary easing by the Bank of Japan, helping bolster consumer confidence. Expectations that property prices will start increasing have pushed housing starts up for a 10th month in June, the longest streak since the period that ended in December 1996, the land ministry said last month.

Sales of offices, warehouses and retail space may climb to the highest level since 2008 this year, after surging 50 percent to $20.9 billion in the first half, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., the Chicago-based broker.

The 66 percent increase in the quarter that ended July 1 was the biggest since prices rose at 87 percent of 100 sites the government watched in the quarter that ended on Jan. 1, 2008.