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Land prices reflecting real demand, not speculation

JIJI

A recent increase in land prices reflects growing demand from buyers seeking yield and location, unlike during the bubble economy period in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it was speculators who drove prices higher, the government said Tuesday.

In its 2014 white paper on land, the government said prices will continue to be driven by demand. It urged regional efforts to enhance real estate values through the redevelopment of towns to meet people’s needs for offices and housing.

The white paper is based on this year’s published land prices. It analyzes price changes from region to region.

In central Tokyo, prices rose fast in the Tokyo Bay area, which is expected to be redeveloped ahead of the 2020 Olympics. Prices also rose rapidly in neighborhoods considered to have a healthy environment.

Nationwide, land prices tended to rise faster in areas that are conveniently located and where land has a high return, the report says.

Tokyo lags global cities

A government white paper called Tuesday for an improvement of the business environment in the Tokyo metropolitan area, noting that the capital is becoming less competitive internationally.

To provide a better business environment, the report points to the need to improve traffic accessibility and build advanced office buildings.

Japan had 113 regional headquarters of foreign companies as of the end of March 2012, ranking fourth in the Asian and Oceanian region, according to the industry ministry.

That number was far below 320 for Singapore, 309 for China and 243 for Hong Kong.