Those who are keen skiers or snowboarders will no doubt know of Niseko, Japan; notorious for some of the best and most consistent snowfall in the world – it’s a must do for powderhounds the world over.
Yet, you may not have heard of Niseko as a top spot for prime real estate opportunities. Property developers from across Asia – and worldwide – have flocked to this wintery paradise and investment opportunities in the area have soared as a result.
What do the figures tell us about Niseko property investment?
The rise in property investment has been linked to the increasing numbers of tourists choosing Japan for their vacations. Figures showed that international visitor arrivals increased 12.5% each year, reaching 6.9million in 2017.
The Japanese property market has benefited hugely from these numbers. In fact, in its Niseko Property Market Update 2018 report, the company stated that the average price for a condo had risen sharply by 25%, versus the previous year, and that current projects for sale are set to top US$1 billion.
The figures are even more astonishing in the centre of Niseko town. The price of land along a major street in the Niseko Resort had risen 88% compared to the year before – making it the fastest-appreciating land in the country.
Across Japan, land prices have been rising steadily in the past four years. However, the most dramatic developments have been to the North. Niseko sits in the northernmost area of Japan, in the Hokkaido region; a region which has witnessed a rise in residential land prices of 50%, and a commercial land price increase of an incredible 58.8% in 2019.
Property development in Niseko
The figures speak for themselves, and nowhere has this historic rise been more evident than in Niseko resort itself.
The development of Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, and W hotels demonstrate just how popular this destination has become as an international hotspot. Plus, investors from across Asia have shown a keen interest in this increasingly cosmopolitan ski resort.
For example, Red Bull heir Chalerm Yoovidhya is building his own personal “Red Bull House” and a Japanese company, Kamori Kanko has planned a 148-unit hotel for the area. Hong Kong’s business elite are also setting up shop in Niseko. Soon, Richard Li’s Pacific Century Premium Developments are set to open with condos priced between a lofty $900,000 and $10 million.
Although it’s not just the wealthy elite cashing in Niseko’s bounty – there are competitively priced condos springing up throughout the area. Indeed, the opportunities for an investor looking for a second home, rental property or prime investment possibility are plentiful!
How can I invest in Niseko property?
All the evidence points to the fact that investing in Niseko is a no brainer. With huge opportunities and big names flocking to the area – the opportunities are endless for your own investment in the area.
Where do you go from here?
Where should I buy property in Niseko?
First, do your research onwhere exactly you want to invest in Niseko. The resort is made up of four very distinct areas each with their own unique characteristics. Niseko Hirafu, Niseko Village, Niseko Annupuri, and Niseko Hanazono make up Niseko entire.
Niseko Grand Hirafu
This is the largest ski area of the resort situated on the southeastern side of the mountain. The area is perfect for those looking for the buzz of a busy ápres-ski location as well as extensive pistes to explore and child-friendly nursery areas.
Slightly smaller than Grand Hirafu, this area is nestled between the Hirafu and the quieter Annupuri. Investment is rising in this area, with developments such as Snow Dog Village providing easy access to the slopes and nightlife. Some of the steepest runs can be found in this area and as well as some truly excellent powder runs.
This area is suitable for all level of skier, the slopes are particularly well groomed and have a gentler incline than some of the neighbouring ski areas. The lack of nightlife means that tourists tend to stay away from this area – leaving the slopes gloriously empty!
The perfect area for those just starting out and the park skiers, with terrain parks that boast rails, pipes, jumps, as well as runs ideal for young children and beginners.
How does property investment work in Japan?
The luxury of buying in property in Japan is that ownership is freehold for foreigners. Unlike other East-Asian nations, Japan makes owning property in its country an easy choice.
The purchase process may be slightly different than what you’re used to in your home nation so we have put together a quick guide for what costs to watch out for in the process:
- Begin the process with an Application of Purchase or Letter of Intent. This requires a payment of ¥100,000 - ¥500,000 (roughly $1000-$5,000).
- After it has been set in motion buyers can then pay the 10% deposit.
- There is an additional purchase tax of 8%
- Set aside another 1-3% for miscellaneous fees for lawyers and closing costs.
- Estate agency fees usually add another 3% to purchase price too.
After receiving the document entitled ‘Explanation of Important Matters’, inspecting the property for a final time, and making the final payment – the property is all yours!
The opportunities for a property in this stunning area and the possibilities for return on investment from a property in this rapidly developing region are worth the effort. With the aid of local legal aid, the process is not as complicated as it first appears.
The reasons for investing in Niseko are boundless. With increasing numbers of tourists and investors across Asia – this area is set to become an international hotspot for skiers and property developers alike.
Often dubbed the ‘Aspen of Asia’ the resort if Niseko is rapidly becoming a home of luxury living, culture, and exceptional skiing opportunities.
So, what are you waiting for? Start looking for your dream property in Niseko today.