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Japan’s Quarterly Land Values Gain as Abe Pushes for Growth

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Japan land values rose at more sites than 2008, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies to end deflation helped lift commercial and housing prices.

Values rose at 99 locations monitored by the government in the three months ended July 1, a survey by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed today. Eighty land sites rose in the previous quarter.

The Bank of Japan has pumped $278 billion into the financial system since April, pushing down the value of the yen and boosting both exports and the country’s banking industry. Sales of offices, warehouses and retail space in Japan surged 50 percent in the first half and Japan’s housing starts rose for a 10th month in June, the longest streak in 16 years.

“We have started to see the recovery of the real estate market,” Kazuhiro Himeno, director of the land price research division at the land ministry, said. “Land sites with good locations are showing signs of strengthening. We’ve also seen a revival of investment interest that is partly helped by the monetary-easing policy.”

Expectations that property prices will start increasing pushed Japan’s housing starts up for a 10th month in June, the longest streak since the period ended December 1996, the land ministry said last month.

Office, warehouse and retail space sales in Japan may climb to the highest since 2008 this year, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., a Chicago-based broker.

The 66 percent increase in the quarter ended July 1 was the biggest since prices rose at 87 percent of 100 sites the government watched in the quarter ended Jan. 1, 2008.

The Topix Real Estate Index fell 1.2 percent at the close of trading in Tokyo, trimming its year-to-date advance to 43 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kathleen Chu in Tokyo at kchu2@bloomberg.net; Katsuyo Kuwako in Tokyo at kkuwako@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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