Japan land prices fall for 10th straight year

Land prices in Japan fell for a 10th straight year in 2001, according to government data released on Friday, spelling more bad news for ailing businesses stuck with land bought in the bubble years and now too cheap to sell.

However, Tokyo remained home to some of the costliest land on earth. The most expensive patch was in the Ginza shopping district, where a single square metre of land cost 12 million yen ($100,700).

But the average price of land in Japan fell 6.5 percent, a larger decline than the 6.2 percent drop recorded in 2000, said the National Tax Agency, which uses the data to levy taxes on property holders.

At an average price of 129,000 yen ($1,082) per square metre, Japanese land is now about a third of its peak hit in 1992 during the bubble economy when prices were inflated by the rush to buy land.

(source: Reuters)

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