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Japanese land prices still shaking off deflation

Second-tier cities a bright spot in lackluster residential property market

Regional hubs, including Sendai, have seen rising commercial land values from redevelopment around major train stations.

TOKYO -- Even as prices of Japan's commercial and industrial land finally bottom out after more than two decades of deflation, the residential real estate market still struggles to make gains outside urban areas.

An annual government report released Tuesday shows the average price of residential land nationwide down 0.6% in the year through July 1. Major cities outperformed the average, with prices rising 0.6% in the Tokyo and Nagoya metropolitan areas, holding steady in Osaka, and jumping 2.8% overall in the regional hub cities of Sapporo, Sendai, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.

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