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Land prices in Japan rose 0.5% in a rebound from the pandemic hit

Average land prices in Japan rose 0.5 percent over a year as of Jan. 1, the National Tax Agency said Friday, rebounding from a slump in 2021 as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

While 20 of the country’s 47 prefectures saw increases, 13 more than in 2021, prices continued to fall in others, particularly in tourist and commercial areas hurt by reduced inbound travel.

Photo taken on June 23, 2022 shows Japan’s most expensive plot in front of the Kyukyodo stationery store in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district. (kyodo)

Roadside land prices as of January 1, 2021 were down an average of 0.5 percent from the previous year, largely due to the disappearance of foreign visitors amid tighter border controls to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This year, land prices on the northern main island of Hokkaido rose 4.0 percent, the highest among the 47 prefectures, helping redevelopment in the capital Sapporo.

Fukuoka and Miyazaki prefectures in southwestern Japan saw increases of 3.6 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, with higher demand for former office buildings.

Land prices also rebounded in Tokyo as well as the prefectures of Aichi, Osaka and Hiroshima.

In contrast, 27 prefectures saw price declines, the largest in Wakayama at 1.3 percent, though many of the contractions were smaller than the previous year.

Meanwhile, 15 prefectural capitals saw land prices rise, with Chiba and Sapporo city leading by 5.1 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, boosted by nearby ongoing or planned redevelopment projects.

Sixteen prefectural capitals recorded lower land prices, affected by a drop in the number of inbound travelers and residents, although the total figure was six lower than a year ago. Land prices remained flat in sixteen prefectural capitals.

Sannomiya Center Gai shopping street in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, which is often popular with tourists, was the biggest price drop for the prefectural capital, at 5.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the most expensive plot in Japan for 37 years is located in front of the Kyukyodo stationery store in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district.

It is estimated at 42.24 million yen ($311,000) per square meter, down 1.1 percent from a year earlier, but down from a 7 percent decline in 2021 in government data.

As in previous years, no values ​​were assigned to land in areas designated as evacuation zones in Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 nuclear disaster, due to difficulties in appraising them.

The tax agency’s annual survey of prices per 1 square meter of land facing major roads from January 1 is used to calculate inheritance and gift taxes. It is based on land price data collected by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and reflects land transactions.

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