• Kyodo News

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Land prices dropped in fewer locations in July compared with three months earlier, reflecting a nascent pickup in demand for homes, according to a quarterly government survey.

Land prices as of July 1 were down in 105, or about 70 percent, of 42 surveyed residential and 108 commercial areas in major cities, a decrease from 123, or 82 percent, on April 1, the land ministry said.

Prices rose in four locations, up from two in the previous survey, and leveled off in 41 locations, up from 25, the ministry said.

The four locations where prices jumped were two residential areas in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, and Kawasaki, and two commercial areas in Kawasaki and the city of Fukuoka. The 41 locations with level prices included 22 residential areas.

A land ministry official said land price falls have slowed as lower condominium prices and tax breaks for mortgage loans have stimulated demand for homes.

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