« 人権委設置法案 理解に苦しむ唐突な閣議決定 | トップページ | 輿石幹事長再任 「近いうち」の真意が問われる »

2012年9月25日 (火)

基準地価 加速する被災地の「二極化」

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 25, 2012)
Polarization in land prices growing in disaster-hit areas
基準地価 加速する被災地の「二極化」(9月24日付・読売社説)

There are signs that land prices are bottoming out, but scars left by the Great East Japan Earthquake remain, leaving the prospects of land prices uncertain.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry recently released data of average residential and commercial land prices as of July 1.

Average residential land prices fell from a year earlier for the 21st straight year, while commercial land prices dropped for the fifth straight year. However, the margin of falls in both residential and commercial land prices narrowed compared with a year earlier.

The margin of decline in land prices in the three major metropolitan areas, including Tokyo, narrowed to the zero percent range for residential and commercial land. The decline has nearly leveled off in these areas.

This has been due to growing housing demand, supported by such government policies as extremely low interest rates and tax breaks for home buyers taking out mortgages.

In some areas, land prices have been buoyed by the opening of large commercial complexes and the accompanying redevelopment of neighboring areas. The opening of Tokyo Skytree this spring is a prime example.


Recovery will take time

Of the 20,000-plus surveyed locations, only 658--just 3 percent--recorded price rises. The recovery in land prices in local areas has lagged that of urban areas.

It will apparently be some time yet until land prices shift into a full-fledged upward trend. The government will need to pay close attention to future movements in land prices.

Worryingly, there is a growing polarization in land prices in areas stricken by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami and crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Land prices declined markedly in coastal areas hit hard by the tsunami and parts of Fukushima Prefecture seriously affected by the nuclear disaster.

On the other hand, areas on higher ground in the disaster-hit region saw land prices rise considerably and across the board, as demand grew among disaster victims hoping to rebuild homes on safer ground.

Among residential areas, the biggest price rise was logged on a section of higher ground in tsunami-hit Rikuzen-Takata, Iwate Prefecture. The areas that reported the 10 biggest margins of increase in land prices were all in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.


Safety comes first

Soaring land prices could adversely affect the rebuilding of homes for people affected by last year's disaster. If demand for housing is concentrated on limited residential land in their original neighborhood and the uptick in land prices accelerates, local governments will become unable to promptly purchase plots of land needed for their post-disaster reconstruction plans.

In some cases, private business operators have snapped up such land while local governments have dawdled through the purchase process.

The central and local governments need to cooperate and expedite efforts to implement reconstruction projects.

It is also necessary to increase the monitoring of land deals to prevent land from being traded speculatively.

The latest survey on land prices clearly reflected residents' fear of another disaster.

Land prices declined markedly not only in quake-affected areas but also in coastal parts of Wakayama, Kochi and other prefectures. This probably was due to people's concern over expected damage from tsunami in the event of simultaneous major earthquakes along the Nankai Trough.

Lessons learned from last year's catastrophe have also spread to urban areas. Land prices are recovering in areas where highly quake-resistant office buildings are concentrated.

The degree of "safety" has become a new yardstick for assessing real estate across the country. Reinforcing the disaster-prevention functions of regions will lead to the full-scale recovery of land prices.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 24, 2012)
(2012年9月24日01時20分  読売新聞)


« 人権委設置法案 理解に苦しむ唐突な閣議決定 | トップページ | 輿石幹事長再任 「近いうち」の真意が問われる »





« 人権委設置法案 理解に苦しむ唐突な閣議決定 | トップページ | 輿石幹事長再任 「近いうち」の真意が問われる »