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Land prices reverse course and are now inching upward

Date Posted: 2008-03-27

After more than a decade in decline, Okinawa land prices have finally begun turning around.

Okinawa Prefecture says after a 13-year downward spiral, land prices are now showing improvement. Onna Village land prices have increased 1.6% for a second straight year, but the real good news was in the rest of the Prefecture. Ishigaki Island, a popular mainland Japanese tourist destination in the prefecture’s southernmost island group, saw prices creep up 1.2%. Officials attribute the boost in investment and real estate purchases to the number of mainlanders migrating to Okinawa.

Commercial property was on the rise both on Ishigaki Island and in Onna Village on Okinawa’s main island. Hotel and apartment construction has been steadily increasing in both locations, where hotel acquisitions boosted land prices 2.9%

Naha City realtors are smiling as well, as hotel land purchases increased prices 2.4%. Chatan Town and Haebaru Town also report rising land prices. Top dollar prices were doled out in Naha City’s Maejima area, as Daido Life Insurance Building land value increased 9.7%, while the Kumoji area’s Nihon Life Insurance Building, also in Naha City, went up 7%. One square meter of land is now valued at ¥794,000.

Land along Highway 58 is becoming more in demand, as realtors and contractors look for new locations for hotels and apartment complexes. Businesses have begun turning from the downtown areas to the suburbs as they eye new land for supermarkets and large department stores, leaving the real estate picture bleak in the inner cities.

Residential properties were a mixed bag, according to the Prefecture report. Some land values increased, while others dropped, a swing attributed to the polarization of people into the more popular residential districts while shying away from older, established neighborhoods.

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