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  • Writer's pictureAdam German

Japan nationwide average residential land prices turn positive after 31 years

On September 19th, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MLIT) unveiled the standard land prices for 2023.


Land prices for all zoning categories, including residential and commercial properties, saw a nationwide overall average increase of 1.0% compared to the previous year, marking the second consecutive year of growth.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Tokyo 23 ward average land prices remain 40% of the 1990s bubble levels, attracting investor attention.

  • Inbound tourism boosts urban land prices; overseas investments flow into stable metro real estate.

  • Some isolated areas experienced land price declines due to population decreases and natural disasters.

 

The resumption of economic activity following the COVID-19 pandemic served as a tailwind, surpassing 2019’s growth rate of 0.4%.


Particularly noteworthy is the fact that nationwide average residential land prices turned positive for the first time in 31 years.


According to the MLIT, the average land price per square meter in Tokyo 23 wards stands at 1.68 million yen, which is about 40% of the levels seen during the early 1990s' bubble period.


The Meiji-ya Ginza Building in Tokyo's Ginza 2-chome address, which had the highest land price for commercial properties nationwide, turned positive for the first time in four years.


The land price per square meter reached 40.1 million yen, reflecting a 2% increase from 2022.


The influx of inbound tourism, especially in urban areas, has driven up land prices in bustling city centers and tourist destinations. Since the relaxation of border measures in October of 2022, the number of inbound tourists has returned to nearly 80% of the 2019 pre-pandemic levels.


Overseas inbound investments have also flowed into stable income-generating urban real estate given the low-interest-rate domestic environment, providing additional support.


In terms of commercial land price fluctuations, 22 prefectures saw positive changes, marking an increase of four points from the previous year's 18 points.


Notably, rural areas such as Fukushima, Ishikawa, Shiga, and Nara returned to positive growth. Overall for most rural areas, the average land prices for residential and commercial turned when compared to 2022.


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