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Asia Insight

Japan real estate recovery defies demographic decline

Prices rise in big cities and beyond, but aging and old habits pose risks

MITSURU OBE, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan -- The decline seemed unstoppable: Land prices in the city of Utsunomiya fell every single year from 1993 to 2016, dropping more than 70% over that span. Yet, since 2017, prices in the community 100 km north of Tokyo have been rising, albeit at an annual pace of less than 1%.

Utsunomiya is not alone. A Japanese property price rebound is underway, led by big cities and popular tourist destinations but extending to provincial towns long neglected by foreign investors and domestic homebuyers alike.

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