ALL SEASON HOLIDAY HOME
Travellers flock to this Hokkaido town for winter, but Niseko’s suitability as a year-round destination drives its property boom.
With low-rise boxy buildings and cookie cutter chalets, the ski town of Niseko is hardly known for its architectural highlights. However, as more travellers discover it as a year-round destination, a host of soon-to-open luxury property developments looks set to change the visual landscape of this area.
The latest are high-end villas in the form of The Ginto Residences (pictured right) by The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts. The 31 private villas are nestled within a forest in Ginto Hirafu, just on the edge of the town of Hirafu.
In Niseko to break ground for the project last October, founder and chief executive officer Gordon Oldham said: “The beauty of Niseko and, in many ways, its best kept secret, is that it is an all-season destination. Niseko has a temperate climate that’s ideal for yearround activities.”
Also, foreigners may buy property with freehold ownership in Japan, leading to record property price gains in the region in recent times. Bill Barnett, managing director of consulting group C9 Hotelworks, notes that most are from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and China. “Recent condominium projects such as Skye and The Maples are eclipsing record setting pricing levels of US$17,000 (S$23,000) per square metre.”
According to figures released by Japan’s National Tax Agency, Niseko saw the steepest price gains for the third consecutive year in 2017, with property along the touristy Kogen Hirafusen street rising by 77.1 per cent.
Judge for yourself. Here are some of the most stylish developments to look out for in the next two years, and their prices.