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Land prices in Tokyo have risen for the first time since 1990, the government said Tuesday, bearing out ever-widening views of a pickup in the economy.

Average land prices in Tokyo’s 23 wards as of July 1 increased 0.5 percent in residential districts and 0.6 percent in commercial areas over last year, marking the first rises since the burst of the bubble economy, according to the annual survey by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.

On a national basis, the land ministry said average prices for both residential and commercial land were down for the 14th straight year but with signs the fall in rural areas is coming to a halt.

The margin of decline shrank in 29 prefectures for residential areas, up from 19 prefectures in the previous year. For commercial areas, the margin of decline shrank in 37 prefectures from 29 a year ago.

The survey covered land prices for 26,521 designated locations nationwide.

Land prices in central Tokyo and other urban districts rose in response to a growing demand for condominiums and office buildings in those areas, ministry officials said.

On the back of expectations of an economic recovery, land prices in urban areas also gained through active investment in real estate, the officials said.

An uptrend in land prices was seen in such parts of greater Tokyo as the cities of Musashino and Mitaka.

Ahead of the start of the Tsukuba Express train service between Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, and Tokyo’s Akihabara district in August, land prices in residential areas covered by the service increased.

Prices were also on a rising trend in many places in and around Osaka and Nagoya.

Six commercial locations in Nagoya ranked in the top 10 for the biggest margin of rise, with two of them near JR Nagoya Station posting a rise of better than 30 percent.

The margin of fall in residential area prices outside of the three metropolitan areas shrank for the first time in eight years. The margin got smaller in commercial areas for the second straight year.

The number of areas with land prices going up or leveling off increased in Sapporo and Fukuoka.

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