Japan’s commercial land prices increase for first time in 8 years

Chuo Ginza area
Tokyo’s Ginza district dominated the land value rankings in 2016

For the first time in 8 years, commercial land prices in Japan saw an increase from the previous year. According to the 2016 ‘chika-koji’ assessed land values released by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the nationwide commercial land price increased by 0.9% from 2015.

In the Tokyo metropolitan area, commercial land values increased by 4.1% in 2016, up from a 2.9% increase in 2015.

The increase can be attributed to improving office conditions in city centres, and a surge in construction of hotels to meet the growing number of foreign tourists.  The benefits of Japan’s monetary easing, improving office market and growing foreign tourist numbers were originally only felt in major cities, but the effects are starting to spread to other large urban centres in regional areas. This is only true for areas seeing an increase in population, while other regional areas that have been suffering from ageing and shrinking populations continue to see property values tumble.

16 of Japan’s prefectures reported an increase in commercial land values, up from 11 prefectures in 2015. In Tokyo, Ginza dominated the land value rankings with 8 of the top 10 increases being located in the Ginza address. The highest annual increase was for the land under the Ginza Owaricho Tower which saw a 22.9% increase in 2016. The most expensive commercial land in Japan is the site under the Yamano Music Building in Ginza. The land had an assessed value of 40,100,000 Yen per square meter (approx. 33,350 USD/sq.ft) in 2016, representing an increase of 18.6% from 2015. This site was valued at 38,500,000 Yen/sqm during the end of Japan’s property bubble in 1991, before recovering to 39,000,000 Yen/sqm just before the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. It is also approximately 170% higher than the value in 2002.

Residential land
3 Major Cities-1.3%-0.6%+0.5%+0.4%+0.5%
Regional areas-3.3%-2.5%-1.5%-1.1%-0.7%
Commercial land
3 Major Cities-1.6%-0.5%+1.6%+0.2%+0.9%
Regional areas-4.3%-3.3%-2.1%-1.5%-0.9%


Nationwide residential land values dropped by 0.2% from 2015. This is an improvement from 2015 when land values dropped by 0.4%, but still represents the 8th consecutive year of decreases. In Japan’s three major cities, residential land values increased by 0.5%. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, residential land values increased by 1.6% in 2016, after a 1.3% increase in 2015.

In Tokyo’s central 8 wards (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku, Bunkyo, Taito, Shibuya and Toshima), residential land values increased by 4.6% in 2016, up from a 3.7% increase in 2015. Joso City in Ibaraki Prefecture recorded the biggest drop in residential land values in the greater Tokyo area, with values declining by 6.3% in 2016. The city was hit by devastating floodwaters in 2015 after a river burst its banks. In second place was coastal Miura City in Kanagawa Prefecture with a decline of 6.0%.

Minami Azabu in top spot 

Hiroo Muan House
Minamiazabu 4-9-6, +13.2% in 2016.

The survey site in the greater Tokyo area that saw the biggest increase in 2016 was in Minami Azabu in the Hiroo neighbourhood in central Tokyo. The site in question is approximately 300 meters from Arisugawa Park and in one of the most desirable residential parts of the city. The land value has increased by 37.8% since 2013. Nationwide, this site was ranked 9th in terms of price increases, outanked only by sites in Hokkaido and Fukushima.

In second position was the land underneath Homat Royal in Akasaka, which saw an increase of 12.8%. This site is directly across the street from Hotel Okura, which is undergoing a large-scale redevelopment. The land value has increased by 37.3% from 2013, and has exceeded the previous peak of 3,300,000 Yen/sqm recorded in 2008. The 2016 value is approximately 86% higher than the value in 2005.

The top 10 increases in greater Tokyo:

[1]Minamiazabu 4-9-6, Minato-ku
(Muan House)
2,480,000 Yen/sqm (+13.2%)
[2]Akasaka 1-14-11, Minato-ku
(Homat Royal)
3,350,000 Yen/sqm (+12.8%)
[3]Tsukishima 3-25-3, Chuo-ku1,130,000 Yen/sqm (+11.9%)
[4]Tsukuda 2,12,12, Chuo-ku1,090,000 Yen/sqm (+11.8%)
[5]Kozunomori 2-22-3,
Narita City, Chiba
100,000 Yen/sqm (+11.7%)
[6]Tsukuda 3-3-9, Chuo-ku
(City House Tsukishima)
1,730,000 Yen/sqm (+10.9%)
[7]Kachidoki 3-4-18, Chuo-ku1,140,000 Yen/sqm (+10.7%)
[8]Kudan Kita 2-3-25, Chiyoda-ku2,520,000 Yen/sqm (+10.5%)
[9]Rokubancho 6-1, Chiyoda-ku3,480,000 Yen/sqm (+10.5%)
[10]Nihonbashi Hamacho 3-28-2, Chuo-ku1,030,000 Yen/sqm (+10.4%)
Ginza 6-8-3
Ginza 6-8-3, +22.9% in 2016.
[1]Ginza 6-8-3, Chuo-ku19,300,000 Yen/sqm (+22.9%)
[2]Ginza 4-5-6, Chuo-ku40,100,000 Yen/sqm (+18.6%)
[3]Ginza 7-9-19, Chuo-ku28,800,000 Yen/sqm (+18.5%)
[4]Ginza 2-6-7, Chuo-ku28,700,000 Yen/sqm (+18.1%)
[5]Ginza 5-3-1, Chuo-ku34,700,000 Yen/sqm (+18.0%)
[6]Ginza 2-3-18, Chuo-ku3,890,000 Yen/sqm (+17.9%)
[7]Ginza 4-2-15, Chuo-ku21,100,000 Yen/sqm (+17.2%)
[8]Toranomon 1-15-16, Minato-ku6,790,000 Yen/sqm (+17.1%)
[9]Ginza 3-7-1, Chuo-ku11,000,000 Yen/sqm (+16.8%)
[10]Shinjuku 3-30-11, Shinjuku-ku25,500,000 Yen/sqm (+15.9%)

The most expensive land in Japan:

Palais Royale Rokubancho and Homat Royal
[Left] Rokubancho 6-1, 3,480,000 Yen/sqm (+10.5%); [Right] Akasaka 4-14-11, 3,350,000 Yen/sq (+12.8%).
[1]Rokubancho 6-1, Chiyoda-ku
(Palais Royale Rokubancho)
3,480,000 Yen/sqm (+10.5% from 2015)
[2]Akasaka 4-14-11, Minato-ku
(Homat Royal)
3,350,000 Yen/sqm (+12.8%)
[3]Sanbancho 6-25, Chiyoda-ku
(Itopia Sanbancho Mansion)
2,670,000 Yen/sqm (+9.9%)
[4]Ichibancho 16-3, Chiyoda-ku
(Park House Ichibancho)
2,610,000 Yen/sqm
[5]Kudan Kita 2-3-5, Chiyoda-ku
(Kudanzaka House)
2,520,000 Yen/sqm (+10.5%)
[6]Minami Azabu 4-9-6, Minato-ku
(Muan House)
2,480,000 Yen/sqm (+13.2%)
[7]Hirakawacho 2-4-13, Chiyoda-ku
(Noble Court Hirakawacho)
2,210,000 Yen/sqm (+7.8%)
[8]Motoazabu 2-3-24, Minato-ku
(Motoazabu Park Mansion)
2,060,000 Yen/sqm (+9.6%)
[9]Akasaka 6-19-23, Minato-ku
(Prestige Akasaka Hikawacho)
2,060,000 Yen/sqm (+9.6%)
[10]Minami Aoyama 4-20-4, Minato-ku
(Foliage Minami Aoyama)
2,050,000 Yen/sqm (+7.3%)
[1]Ginza 4-5-6, Chuo-ku
(Yamano Music Bldg)
40,100,000 Yen/sqm (+18.6%)
[2]Ginza 5-3-1, Chuo-ku
(Ginza Sony Bldg)
34,700,000 Yen/sqm (+18.0%)
[3]Marunouchi 2-4-1, Chiyoda-ku
(Marunouchi Bldg)
32,800,000 Yen/sqm (+7.2%)
[4]Ginza 7-9-19, Chuo-ku
28,800,000 Yen/sqm (+18.5%)
[5]Ginza 2-6-7, Chuo-ku
(Meijiya Ginza Bldg)
28,700,000 Yen/sqm (+18.1%)
[6]Shinjuku 3-24-1, Shinjuku-ku26,300,000 Yen/sqm (+15.4%)
[7]Shinjuku 3-30-11, Shinjuku-ku
(Shinjuku Takano No. 2 Bldg)
25,500,000 Yen/sqm (+15.9%)
[8]Otemachi 2-2-1, Chiyoda-ku
(Shin-Otemachi Bldg)
25,100,000 Yen/sqm (+7.3%)
[9]Marunouchi 3-3-1, Chiyoda-ku
(Shin Tokyo Bldg)
23,500,000 Yen/sqm (+7.3%)
[9]Otemachi 1-7-2, Chiyoda-ku
(Tokyo Sankei Bldg)
23,500,000 Yen/sqm (+7.3%)

The ‘chika-koji’ assessed land values are released by the MLIT annually. The data is based on approximately 25,255 survey sites across Japan and is based on a survey date of January 1. Land values are assessed from land transactions and acquisitions of public utility sites.

Source: The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, March 22, 2016.

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