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Land prices drop for Okinawa properties

Date Posted: 2005-08-05

The value of land in Okinawa is declining. Okinawa’s Tax Office, which uses the value of land to calculate taxes to fund public activities, says Okinawa property has declined for a 13th consecutive year. The tax office uses the data in figuring inheritance and donation taxes. Property value dipped Y5,000, on average, during 2004. The average price for 1m2 (one square meter=approx. nine square feet) was valued at Y65,000. The 7.1% decline was worse than 2003, when the value declined 6.7% Okinawa’s land costs rank 15th in Japan, well below Hokkaido, Tokyo, Koto, Osaka and other prefectures. Naha City’s Kokusai Street has the most valuable land on the island, valued at Y530,000 per square meter. By comparison, the cost for one square meter in Tokyo is Y15,120,000, according to Tax Office research. Omoromachi area’s land value did jump last year, to Y280,000 per square meter. That’s a 7.7% hike. Land’s a better buy in suburban areas, at least for now. Prices in Okinawa City’s Goya area are Y115,000 per square meter, Nago City Y82,000, Ishigaki City Y115,000 and Hirara City Y89,000. Officials say suburban prices are on the rise, as more people move from the cities. That’s good for the tax base, but impacts negatively on the assessments in the city. Naha City’s industrial area encompasses the area on Kokusai’s northside, and includes the Seibu Orion Hotel. Land value dipped Y20,000 per square meter in a single year, down from Y65,000 last year. The question tax assessors are hoping to answer is the longterm effect on money collected to cover government expenses. Okinawa’s changing to a resort island, and more residents are moving to the countryside, where prices are cheaper, for now at least. That means a reduction in money available to fund government services.

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