Land appreciation cooling despite surge in Hirafu and Hanazono areas

Dollar yen exchange rate may set stage for property market rebound

“Despite the government’s closed border policies shutting down the overseas market for over two years, Niseko’s domestic tourism has been resilient. In Q12022, total visitors to Niseko were 288,670, growing by 14% compared to the same period in 2021.

Niseko’s winter tourism market and high-value foreign segment is connected to the real estate sector. As a result, commercial land prices in 2022 decelerated. This trend was also seen in residential land prices, where growth was 12% in 2022, down for 40% in 2020, and 25% for 2021. Comparing Niseko to other Japanese alpine resort areas, Furano was 18% and Hakuba 17%.

Hanazono, Hirafu and Niseko Village/Higashiyama remain the top three destination in the project pipeline. There remains a strong push for luxury projects outside of the mainstream Hirafu area driven by the lack of prime land and rising prices.

Two factors that may hamper wider destination growth are aging ski facilities and potential changes to the area development and more restrictive zoning by the government.

In C9 Hotelworks opinion, the restart of Japan’s tourism sector and the favourable dollar yen exchange rate will revitalise the transaction market in short to medium term, as pent-up demand will induce a market tailwind” – Bill Barnett, Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks.