Nationwide land prices crumble at fastest pace in five years

Kyodo News

Commercial and residential land prices fell at their fastest pace in half a decade during the year to July 1 as the global recession forced businesses to shut offices and curbed demand for housing, the government said Thursday.

Commercial and residential prices declined in all 47 prefectures.

The average nationwide price for commercial land dropped 5.9 percent, down for the second consecutive year, while the average nationwide price for residential land fell 4.0 percent, down for the 18th consecutive year, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry said.

Only three of the roughly 23,000 locations in the annual land survey rose in price, the smallest since the ministry started the survey in 1975.

Price declines were conspicuous in metropolitan areas and other large cities.

“While businesses downsized or closed their offices and stores throughout Japan due to the global recession, housing demand also slackened,” a ministry official said.

The average price for commercial land fell in the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas for the first time in four years, falling 8.9 percent in Tokyo, 7.1 percent in Osaka and 7.3 percent in Nagoya.

Commercial land in other regions fell 4.9 percent, down for the 18th year straight.

The average price of residential land fell in the Tokyo and Osaka areas for the first time in four years, dropping 6.5 percent in Tokyo and 4.5 percent in Osaka. The Nagoya area saw a 4.2 percent drop, the first in three years.