The average price of residential land in regional parts of Japan as of July 1 rose 0.1 percent from a year earlier, marking the first increase in 31 years, as low interest rates continue to spur housing demand outside urban areas, government data showed Tuesday.
The average price of commercial land in regional areas also climbed 0.5 percent amid a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, rebounding for the first time in four years. Regional commercial land prices, excluding Japan's four major regional cities -- Sapporo, Sendai, Hiroshima and Fukuoka -- rose for the first time in 32 years.
Across Japan, average overall land prices climbed 1.0 percent for the second consecutive year of increase.
However, "more than half of the surveyed locations are still below pre-pandemic prices, so recovery is still ongoing," according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, which surveyed 21,381 sites nationwide.
Japan's housing market has been bolstered by the inflow of foreign investment, as well as persistently low borrowing costs.
The country's average price of residential land increased by 0.7 percent, with the four main regional cities seeing a 7.5 percent rise, faster than the previous year's 6.6 percent growth.
Residential land prices in areas outside of the four cities fell 0.2 percent but slowed the pace of decline from 0.5 percent.
While housing demand has remained solid in urban centers considered convenient, more surrounding areas are also seeing land price increases.
In the latest survey, 18 of Japan's 47 prefectures saw residential land prices rise, compared to 14 the previous year, while 28 registered drops and one remained flat.
The national average of commercial land prices, meanwhile, increased 1.5 percent, with 22 prefectures marking rises, up from 18 the previous year.
The rebound comes as businesses have found support from recovering inbound tourism following the lifting of coronavirus curbs.
The four main regional cities saw a 9.0 percent increase in commercial land prices, with other regional areas also experiencing growth on the back of increased activity in tourist destinations.
The largest decline of 10.6 percent and 8.1 percent in residential and commercial land prices, respectively, was observed in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture after the area was devastated by an earthquake in May.
The Meidi-ya Ginza commercial building site in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district fetched the highest price per square meter of 40.1 million yen ($272,000), topping the list for the 18th consecutive year and marking the first increase since 2019.