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July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Japan land prices declined 3.1 percent in 2010, falling for a second year, before the March earthquake, the National Tax Agency said in a report.
The nationwide average prices were measured as of Jan. 1, 2011 and compares with a 4.4 percent decline in the previous year, the agency said in a report today. The land values determined by the tax agency are used as an annual guideline to calculate inheritance tax and for other taxation purposes.
Only a comparison to 2009 figures was given because the method of valuation was changed last year and the agency will announce ways to evaluate land prices in seven quake-affected prefectures including Fukushima and Miyagi as early as October, the report said. Land values declined at more than two-thirds of the country’s land sites after the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami slowed a recovery in the property market, a quarterly land ministry survey showed in May.
The most expensive land in Japan last year remained the fifth block of Ginza, a central shopping district in Tokyo, where prices fell 5.2 percent to 22 million yen ($271,504) per square meter from a year ago. The prices at the site have declined 31 percent from three years ago. One square meter equals 10.76 square feet.
Land prices for the same spot evaluated by the tax agency tend to be about 20 percent lower than estimates provided by the land ministry to avoid over-taxation, according to the agency.
--Editors: Tomoko Yamazaki, Linus Chua
To contact the reporters on this story: Kathleen Chu in Tokyo at Kchu2@bloomberg.net; Katsuyo Kuwako in Tokyo at email@example.com
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