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Japan land prices up for 4th straight year in 2018

Tokyo

JAPAN'S land prices rose for a fourth straight year in 2018, thanks to solid demand for office space and a tourism boom, a government survey showed on Monday.

Average land prices increased 1.3 per cent in 2018, accelerating from 0.7 per cent in 2017, according to the National Tax Agency.

The rise appears to reflect brisk demand for infrastructure and urban redevelopment projects as well as housing at a time of low interest rates, the agency said.

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Land in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district remained Japan's most expensive for a 34th straight year, hitting a record high of 45.6 million yen (S$572,000) a square metre, the survey showed.

But last year's increase in Ginza slowed to 2.9 per cent from 9.9 per cent in 2017.

The agency said the biggest increase was in an area in the southern city of Naha, Okinawa, where the price of a block jumped 39.2 per cent to 1.03 million yen per square metre.

Overall land prices in Okinawa, a popular destination for tourists, rose 8.3 per cent, the biggest increase among Japan's prefectures, while prices in Tokyo climbed 4.9 per cent.

The tax agency assesses land prices as at Jan 1 every year to calculate inheritance and gift taxes on properties acquired in that year. The latest survey covered more than 320,000 plots. REUTERS