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Office vacancy rate tops 5% in central Tokyo for 1st time in 44 months.

TOKYO, March 12 Kyodo

The office vacancy rate in five central Tokyo wards rose by 0.67 percentage point during February to 5.60 percent, topping the boom-or-bust line of 5 percent for the first time in 44 months, office broker Miki Shoji Co. said Thursday.

The rate in the wards of Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya soared for the 13th straight month as companies accelerated consolidation of offices under deteriorating economic conditions.

While real estate prices have slackened generally in Japan, demand for excellent offices has been believed to be steady in central Tokyo. ''But even central Tokyo is no longer safe,'' a Miki Shoji official said.

The average office rent in the wards declined for the sixth straight month, reaching 21,620 yen per 3.3 square meters, or the equivalent of 1 tsubo, the traditional Japanese unit for real estate space.

Office demand declined during February in other major Japanese cities as well. The business district office vacancy rate soared by 0.50 percentage point to 7.46 percent in Osaka and by 0.86 point to 9.62 percent in Nagoya.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Mar 16, 2009
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