The decline in land prices accelerated over the year to July 1, falling for a 12th consecutive year, according to a government survey released Thursday.

The annual survey by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry shows the average price of land for residential areas fell 4.8 percent. They dropped 4.3 percent the year before.

The average price for commercial real estate was down 7.4 percent, compared with a 7.2 percent drop the previous year.

The average prices almost match the levels registered in 1987 for residential areas and 1978 for commercial areas.

The survey, which covered land prices of 27,725 designated locations nationwide, showed that the average price in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya dipped for the 13th straight year.

But the margin of land-price decline in those cities and vicinities shrank to 6.6 percent from the previous year’s 6.8 percent for residential areas, and to 7.3 percent from 8.2 percent for commercial areas.

For the Tokyo area, the margin of decline narrowed to 5.6 percent from 6.1 percent for residential areas as prices were up or flat in Chiyoda and Shibuya wards, which posted gains of 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

The pace of the decline also slowed for the fourth straight year for Tokyo’s commercial areas, which recorded a 5.8 percent drop against last year’s 6.9 percent.

Prices went up or leveled off for 42 commercial sites, including such posh districts as Ginza and Omotesando, which have been tapped into by an increasing number of foreign-brand retail and hotel operators.

A ministry official said price increases in those districts are conspicuous as convenience and profitability there have been greatly enhanced through progress in city-revival projects or improved transportation systems.

Analysts and real estate developers also noted a wider gap between such popular locations and other areas, citing the convergence of large-scale projects aimed at reinvigorating a limited number of places.

“Even within the same Ginza district, land prices in certain locations are much higher than in others that are not close to the central part,” a developer said, pointing to a similar trend in some urban residential areas.

In the Osaka area, the average price of commercial areas fell 10.3 percent for the fifth consecutive year of double-digit decline and slid 8.9 percent for residential areas.

The Nagoya area marked decreases of 5.6 percent for residential areas and 7.6 percent for commercial areas.

The site of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry building in the Marunouchi district was the most expensive commercial area at 13.7 million yen per square meter, taking the slot for the first time. It was the first time the site was surveyed.

This meant that the Otemachi Pal Building in Tokyo’s Otemachi district lost its status as the nation’s most expensive commercial area for the first time in 10 years as it was valued at 13.5 million yen per square meter.

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