Significant fall on land prices in disaster-stricken areas was noted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in the first-ever survey on land prices since the March 11 quake and tsunami.
Commercial and residential land prices in the severely beaten areas of Fukushima Prefecture and other areas in Tohoku region dropped drastically; as well as in Tokyo Bay where concern on liquefaction was prevalent.
While there was already a trend of falling prices in the Fukushima Prefecture even prior to March 11, the catastrophic quake and tsunami which triggered the nuclear crisis speeded up the drop in land prices.
The commercial areas where land prices fell markedly include hot spring districts such as the Bandai-Atami hot spring area which is about 70 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant and which registered the highest drop in the prefecture of 15% from last year’s figures.
Other than the Fukushima Prefecture, other areas where nuclear plants are located also showed a fall in land prices. There was a drop of 6.7% in residential land prices in the Shizuoka Prefecture city of Omaezaki, where Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant is found. Moreover, the survey done by the ministry in Omaezaki showed that the land price of areas closest to the nuclear plant had dropped by 7.2%.
Masafumi Goto of the All Japan news Real Estate Institute opined that, "The psychological anxiety of being close to a nuclear power plant has affected the sale of land."
Photo by: Alexandre Dulaunoy