The opportunities with Japanese ski homes

One of our favourite podcast episodes is packed with everything you need to know about the ski property market in Japan, with a focus on the ultimate home of powder snow - Niseko. 

Chatting with Paul Butkovich from H2 Real Estate gives real insight into the Japanese market. You’ll discover the history of the resort, from the initial foray the possibilities Niseko offers through to the present day status as dream ski location - not least because of the legendary powder snow. 

Complete with private garden and onsen, this is sophisticated family vacation base

What’s the future for Niseko? 

Paul also cuts a path through the ups and downs of the resort history. He talks about the impact of things like things like the crash of 2008, the 2011 earthquake and of course C-19. Throughout the conversation, the thing that emerges is an overwhelming sense of resilience. Niseko does more than just bounce back, it keeps growing and keeps getting better. Listening to the podcast it’s clear there are a number of reasons why this is the case, and here’s just one example of why Niseko is far from having reached its peak 

“...coming originally from Canada, so used to some pretty good skiing myself, one of the things, the first thing I noticed here was for the price of a lift ticket, okay, which is I think at the moment probably around, in US dollars about 70 or 80… You're basically getting a heli ski experience in-resort, okay. And what does a heli ski ticket cost… 800 bucks a day?”

Paul Butkovich - HR2 Real Estate

This heli ski experience is courtesy of the sheer volume and type of snow Niseko sees. Where a European resort like France might see around 5 metres in a good year, Niseko sees a huge 14-17 metres of snowfall during the season. It’s this perfect powder that first enchanted investors and developers, and this is what means the Niseko bubble is far from bursting. 

Dual key system and a great family home

What does the future hold for ski resorts in Niseko and beyond ? 

While Paul doesn’t claim to have a crystal ball, he does offer some really interesting insights. As you listen you’ll hear about the changes to the type of developer, and the impact that the big names are having on the resort as a whole. Paul discusses the fact that there are still opportunities for investors, those looking to get superb value from a fixer upper left from the first waves of growth in the 90s. 

Simply stunning Koa Niseko townhouse

Another interesting growth point is the family investor. This taps into the spirit of YOLO, seen as a result of the pandemic. As values shift, and truth about what’s important is distilled, then more and more families are seeking a home that will be a base for years to come. More and more people are looking at somewhere to stay for longer, and perhaps explore the possibilities of remote working. The overwhelming feel from listening to the Exploring the opportunity in Japan is that Niseko and Hokkaido as a whole have a future as bright as the snow capped peak of Mount Yotei itself.