TOKYO (AFP) - Forget tales of astronomical prices for Japanese real estate - one small farming town is selling plots of land for just $1.50 per square metre.
Yuni, a town of 5,900 people in the middle of the northern island of Hokkaido, is hoping to encourage out-of-towners with the bargain offering, in a bid to boost its dwindling population.
The offer price of 120 yen is just two per cent of the local going price of 6,000 yen, and a tiny fraction of the 21.5 million yen ($272,000) charged for a square metre of earth in Tokyo's upmarket Ginza district.
"We aim to help people from outside settle in our town, stop the population decline and help the town revitalise itself," said a posting on the municipality's website.
Yuni, a one-hour drive from Hokkaido's main city Sapporo, is selling eight 330 square metre plots on a former public housing project. Buyers must commit to building a house there and living in it within three years.
About 200 people, mainly from tightly-packed Tokyo and its vicinity, have already enquired about the deal in the two weeks since it was made public, a town official said Tuesday. They included a few foreigners, among them a Hong Kong resident.