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.
This year, Hong Kong-based real estate company Haku Development will build a 7-storey condominium near the Grand Hirafu ski field. HakuVillas is scheduled to open in 2019. The project includes just four apartments ranging in size from 300 ~ 590 sqm (3,228 ~ 6,348 sq.ft). All bedrooms have their own en-suite bathrooms. Both the size of the apartments and facilities would be unheard of in even the most luxurious apartments offered by domestic developers in Tokyo. Prices have not been disclosed but, given the features and location, are expected to be several million USD each.
Hotels and resorts are scrambling for staff. With more and more accommodation facilities being built each year, there is a shortage of front desk staff and cleaning staff. English-speaking skills are essential for many of the positions, resulting in a limited pool of potential employees. Some hotels are bringing in staff from overseas to cover the busy winter months. There are some concerns from operators that seasonal staff from overseas may not be able to provide local knowledge and experience that guests may be hoping for.
Current planned projects in Niseko:
Park Hyatt Niseko, Hanazono
Scheduled to open in December 2019. The 8-storey hotel, which sits on a 24,000 sqm site, will have 100 guest rooms, spa, pool, and restaurants. 114 condominium suites are also available to purchase, with delivery scheduled for late January 2020.
A 72 sqm (775 sq.ft) studio is priced at 153 million Yen (approx. 1.44 million USD), while a 153 (1,646 sq.ft) three bedroom apartment is priced at 550 million Yen (approx. 5.18 million USD). These prices are similar to the market price for high-end new developments in central Tokyo.
Under development by Haku Development. The 7-storey condominium includes just four apartments ranging from 300 ~ 590 sqm. The triplex penthouse includes an outdoor infinity hot spring bath. Prices have not been made public. Completion is scheduled for 2019.
12 fully-furnished villas with views of the Grand Hirafu resort and Mt. Yotei. Each villa comes with hot spring piping, while power lines are buried underground. The first six villas are due for completion by November 2018. Villas range in size from 315 ~ 645 sqm (3,389 ~ 6,940 sq.ft) in size and are priced from 358.8 ~ 578.8 million Yen (3.38 ~ 5.45 million USD) and above. One of the villas has already been sold.
The project is developed by Sapporo-based real estate company Marumi.
The Pavilions Niseko Resort and Residences
Located 800 meters from the Hirafu ski slopes and due for completion in 2019. The project includes 42 Pavilion Suites, indoor and outdoor onsen baths, restaurant, gym and library. Buyers can select from three existing villa plans or design their own villa in The Pavilions Ginto Residences. Villas range in size from 300 ~ 420 sqm (3,228 ~ 4,519 sq.ft), and are a blend of western and Japanese design.
Other Pavilions locations include Roma, Bali, Madrid, Amsterdam, Phuket and Lisbon.
The Maples Niseko
A ski-in/ski-out condominium developed by local developer NISADE and Singapore-based Cathay Group. Completion is scheduled for December 2018. Apartments range from 34 ~ 181 sqm (366 ~ 1,948 sq.ft).
The Hokkaido Shimbun, February 4, 2018.
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts Press Release, November 9, 2015.
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