As land values in Niseko skyrocket, investors have been shifting their attention to more affordable ski locations around Hokkaido. One of those destinations is Furano which is seeing an influx in foreign investment and foreign tourists. Located 110 kilometers north-east of Sapporo, or a 2-hour drive, the city is becoming increasingly known for its high-quality powder snow.
In 2018, foreign funds purchased 373 hectares of forestry across Japan. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), there were 30 acquisitions made across seven prefectures.
This month, Tokyo-based developer, Global Agents, will open a boutique hotel in a historic 1930s building in Otaru, Hokkaido. The UNWIND HOTEL & BAR Otaru will have hotel rooms ranging from 15 ~ 40 sqm (161 ~ 430 sq.ft), along with a banquet / dining hall. This is the company’s second UNWIND-branded hotel, with the first located nearby in Sapporo.
On February 4, Thai real estate developer Property Perfect announced plans to invest 100 billion Yen in their Kiroro Resort in Hokkaido over the next 10 years. The plans include expanding their ski facilities and building new luxury villas.
There is no end in sight to the current construction boom in the ski resort town of Niseko in Hokkaido, with a number of luxury resorts and private villas under development. Spacious homes and apartments can easily fetch upwards of several hundred million Yen (several million USD). Rising construction costs and a labor shortage, however, are putting a strain on developers.
Thai-based property company Pace Development has sold a 14 hectare block of land in Hokkaido’s Niseko area for 2.05 billion Yen (approx. 18.8 million USD). The buyer was Richforest International Investments Ltd.
Pace had previously acquired the land in 2016 for approximately 1.56 billion Yen, resulting in a 30% gain over the past 18 months.
Tsuruga Holdings will be developing a luxury hot spring resort in Shikotsuko Onsen in Chitose, Hokkaido.
The hotel group plans to demolish the existing Shikotsuko Hokkai Hotel and replace it with a 3-storey, 24-room hotel with completion scheduled for early 2018. The new resort will feature open air ‘rotemburo’ hot spring baths in each room.
Goldcommon Group, a Chinese property developer, is investing 10 billion Yen (99 million USD) into developing a high-grade hotel on the shores of Lake Toya in Hokkaido.
The resort will contain approximately 500 rooms for as many as 1,500 guests. The group hopes to create a resort suitable for long-term stays from wealthy tourists from China and other Asian countries. Operations are expected to commence in 2019.
PACE Development, a developer of luxury real estate projects in Thailand, is creating a high-end holiday home subdivision in Niseko, Hokkaido. PACE acquired Dean & DeLuca USA in 2014, and is currently developing MahaNakhon, a 77-storey mixed-use skyscraper in Bangkok and Thailand’s tallest building.
The developer plans to build approximately 37 holiday villas on the 14 hectare site in Niseko. Villas will be marketed for sale to Thai buyers, with prices expected to be somewhere in the range of 1.5 ~ 4 million USD each.
Mori Trust have acquired the Norinchukin Bank’s Sapporo Branch building and land in Sapporo’s Odori Nishi 5 Chome district for approximately 9 billion Yen (88 million USD). The real estate developer plans to demolish the existing 60-year old building and place it with a high-end hotel catering to wealthy foreign tourists. Completion is tentatively scheduled for around 2020.