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Niseko Property Sales Surge as Ski Resort Morphs into Year-Round, ‘Luxury Living’ Destination

Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan is fast becoming a year-round destination for holiday makers and the increasing number of visitors that the ski resort has been drawing in the past years is seen to further drive property sales up. Essentially, the city is redefining what luxury living is, according to the November 2017 Property Market Review released by C9 Hotelworks.

International Hotel Brands

The influx of well-known international hotel brands is likewise regarded to stir up continuous growth in the Niseko real estate sector, C9 Hotelworks stated on its latest report. Already in the pipeline are six high-end property developments with Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and The Pavilions leading the pack. When these premium residences get completed and become operational, projected to be realised between early 2018 and late 2019, around 151 units and plots will be added to the Niseko property market.

“These brands are expected to transform what was once a seasonal market into a mainstream year-round destination, and thus driving the cyclical growth of real estate even higher,” C9 Hotelworks managing director Bill Barnett said in the report.

Year-Round Holiday Destination

The C9 review clearly indicated that Niseko has become an irresistible lure for both winter and summer visitors, flowing in from within Japan and from nearby countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan and Thailand. Of note is that many of these visitors translate into what the report characterised as “lifestyle investors.”

They chiefly contributed to the rising demand in Niseko’s property market, which reached a high of 80% for the condominium segment and an equally 60% spike in the housing sector, the C9 report stated.

Barnett is projecting that going by the prevailing trend, the upcoming Niseko residences will deviate from the usual ski-centric offerings. “New developments are now accentuating features such as private onsens, design-led architecture, and international hotel brand affiliation,” the C9 Hotelworks chief said.

But the executive made clear that Niseko will keep its original image – the ski resort of choice in Asia. “Classic facilities such as ski-in-ski-out access remain a key driver of premium pricing,” Barnett said.

Property Market Boom

Looking ahead, the report is forecasting that Niseko will continue to see surge in tourist arrivals in 2017 and the years to come, likely surpassing the 1.6 million of visitors that were recorded last year. Analysts are upbeat that the inflows will increase as the holiday destination becomes more accessible to domestic and international tourists alike.

The New Chitose Airport, for example, now serves as the main gateway to Niseko. In 2016 alone, Chitose welcomed 10.5 million inbound passengers, a huge chunk of which likely found their way to Niseko, further strengthening the C9 Hotelworks’ projection that Niseko is experiencing a property market boom mainly due to rising tourism activities.