The average price of land in Japan edged up 0.1 percent this year, putting an end to 26 straight years of decline since the burst of the bubble economy, the government said Tuesday, as a tourism boom spurs the construction of hotels and shops. The average prices for all types of land, including commercial, residential and industrial, were surveyed by July 1 across the country, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. The first price increase in 27 years was mostly due to gains in urban areas, as mountainous and other rural areas with falling populations saw continued declines. "Regional areas where land prices are rising are those with transportation networks being built and other ongoing development projects to attract foreign tourists," said Takeshi Ide, a senior chief researcher at Tokyo Kantei Co., a real estate research firm. Average commercial land prices rose for the third straight year, up 1.1 percent from a year earlier and faster than the 0.5 percent gain logged the previous year.
Prices of commercial and residential land in Japan rose for the first time in eight years in 2015, with growing numbers of foreign tourists pushing up demand for hotels and shops, the government said Tuesday. Average prices, which also include property for industrial use, were up 0.1 percent in the period, rebounding from a 0.3 percent fall logged the previous year, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said in an annual survey of around 25,000 locations nationwide. The rise was led by commercial land, which climbed 0.9 percent after being flat a year earlier. Land transactions were brisk in major cities, but more than two-thirds of locations elsewhere saw prices drop. Japan saw record numbers of foreign visitors in 2015 thanks to a weaker yen and greater efforts to promote tourism.
Average commercial land prices in Japan were almost flat in July, an improvement from eight straight years of decline, thanks partly to robust demand for city hotel and shop construction to meet foreign tourist demand, the government said Tuesday. Prices across the country were up 0.005 percent on July 1 compared with the same day a year earlier, while strong demand for offices boosted the prices in the nation's three largest metropolitan regions to a rise of 2.9 percent, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed. But the margin of increase in the Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka metropolitan regions was smaller than that in Sapporo, Sendai, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, where average commercial land prices rose by a sharp 6.7 percent. The ministry attributes the trend to low interest rates driven by the Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy, which has boosted investment in real estate. The prices of commercial land in other regional cities fell by 1.5 percent, while residential land prices dropped 1.4 percent.
More than 900 properties worth nearly £600m have been bought by the company responsible for delivering High Speed Rail 2 (HS2), figures show. They include Whatcroft Hall, sold by comedian John Bishop for £6.8m, the highest price paid for any property. Campaigners opposed to the rail project said some homeowners had been treated badly, claiming homes were routinely undervalued by HS2. HS2 said it had to achieve a fair price for both homeowners and taxpayers. The £56bn high-speed rail line is designed to boost the UK's economy by cutting journey times between London and the Midlands and the north of England.
The news that TV personality Katie Price is considering moving her disabled son Harvey into residential care because she is finding it increasingly difficult to cope with him, has struck a chord with many people. The disability rights campaigner and mother-of-five said Harvey, who is 16, sometimes scares her other children and "is a danger to himself". The BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme heard from three other families with disabled children who face similar dilemmas. "It was a really difficult decision," Ros Aspinall says, about the choice to move her daughter into residential care. Stacy was born with a part of her brain missing.