A stunning 6.2 Hectare Land site in Hanazono sold recently. Located on a hill top with steep river valleys on both sides, and farms beyond that, this property has total privacy. Walking the site with the buyer gave me a whole new appreciation for how special this land really is… wide open nature, Yotei and Annupuri views, and the sound of the rivers below. Living here year round, it is easy to lose perspective on what a beautiful place Niseko really is.
The sale also points to an interesting trend over the past few years. Buyers are increasingly turning towards large, estate style properties, providing further proof that the Niseko resort market is maturing towards luxury, pure lifestyle investments. Not at all uncommon in places like Jackson Hole, Whistler, or Aspen, this segment of the Niseko market only really started to flourish after the Lehman meltdown. Largely this is because buyers have come back to the original reason that started this whole Niseko property thing… it is first and foremost a lifestyle investment, something to be enjoyed with family over a long period of time.
If you look at houses built by foreigners over the past 3 years, you will see these are almost uniformly quite high end, to a degree much higher than before the Great Recession. And not because these owners are any more well heeled than earlier buyers. Rather, they recognize that this is not a flipping type of market, and if you are going to invest and hold for 5~10 years, then you may as well sink a little more money into the property and really enjoy it.