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Land prices in 2002 continued to fall from a year earlier in eight broad residential areas nationwide, real estate firm Misawa-MRD Co. said Thursday.

The affiliate of home builder Misawa Homes Co. researched residential land prices as of Dec. 1 in areas surrounding Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Niigata, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.

If found that lLand prices fell 7.1 percent from a year earlier in the Sapporo area, 6.5 percent in the Sendai area, 7.2 percent in the Tokyo area, 8.3 percent in the Niigata area, 6.6 percent in the Nagoya area, 9.8 percent in the Osaka area, 8.1 percent in the Hiroshima area and 6.1 percent in the Fukuoka area.

The degrees of decline were greater than those posted in 2001, it said.

Among the eight areas, land prices in Hiroshima and Niigata, which are less heavily populated than the other areas, declined by a greater margin than in the previous year, company officials said.

Falls in land prices in the Tokyo area were milder against the backdrop of a pickup in demand for condominiums in central Tokyo, they said.

Misawa-MRD researched land prices in some 2,300 locations through such means as interviewing local real estate agents.

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