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Japan's real estate fervour could lose its mojo all too quickly

All it takes is for Tokyo to dial down its monetary stance and for real interest rates to rise back to the 3%-plus levels of 2010 and 2011.

IN countries with growing populations, rising incomes and falling real interest rates, property is usually a winning bet.

Strike Japan out on two of three of those counts. Its population is both ageing and shrinking. The 1.9 per cent rebound in the first quarter aside, the economy is