Japan's land prices fall in 2008, first in 3yrs

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Japan's land prices fall in 2008
Tokyo, Mar 23:According to a govt survey on Monday, Mar 23, Japanese land prices fell for the first time in three years in 2008. The survey highlighted the impact on the real estate market of the deepening global financial crisis.

Severe economic conditions have hurt housing demand, and tighter credit has made it hard for real estate developers to raise money, putting many firms out of business.

Prices of commercial property fell more sharply than for residential property, underlining the impact of the financial crisis. Commercial land prices fell by an average 4.7 percent last year while residential land lost 3.2 percent in value.

Failures among real estate firms and operators of real estate investment trusts (REITs) have been on the rise since last year.

The number of bankruptcies in the real estate sector jumped 24 percent to 575 cases in 2008 from 463 in 2007. The total debt involved rose to 2.08 trillion yen from 1.33 trillion yen, according to Tokyo Shoko Research.

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