Chiba’s radiation hot spots scaring off buyers

A survey* by the Chiba Association of Real Estate Appraisers found that 60% of real estate agents in Chiba Prefecture believe that radiation fears are directly impacting the sluggish local real estate market.

Following the discovery of several radiation ‘hot spots’ in Kashiwa and Matsudo Cities, there has been a sudden increase in the number of homes put up for sale as residents want out. Meanwhile, the interest from buyers has almost stopped completely.

58.9% of agents responded that the radiation fears have had a negative impact on market conditions. Buyers are staying away from properties in Kashiwa, Matsudo and Nagareyama, which are bedtowns for Tokyo.

In July, high concentrations of cesium were detected in ash at Nagareyama City’s incineration plant. Bags of the ash, which have not been accepted by disposal sites due to their high radiation levels, are piling up at the facility.

Radioactive ash piles up in Nagareyama City, Chiba

In October, a radiation hotspot was detected on a vacant plot of land in Kashiwa City. The local city government said it will examine all other plots of land owned by the city, as well as private homes by request.

A survey at various locations around Matsudo City in October also found elevated radiation levels, with the highest being 7 microsieverts/hour at one location. Ash containing radioactive cesium from Matsudo’s incineration plant was also higher than government imposed limits.

*616 agents responded to the survey. Results were published on October 1, 2011.

Sources:
Chiba Association of Real Estate Appraisers Survey (Japanese)
The Sankei Shimbun, December 19, 2011.
The Mainichi Shimbun, October 20, 2011.
“Radioactive ash from incinerator nearing limit” The Asahi Shimbun, October 25, 2011.
“Kashiwa govt wants help with hotspot” The Daily Yomiuri, October 28, 2011.

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