A golden opportunity for property investors in Japan

Hokkaido – home to Niseko, the world-famous ski destination with the finest powder snow has caught the eye of both local and foreign investors 

The demand is expected to continue in 2022 as the country still remains to be a desirable investment location for ultra-rich Asians. Rujipart/Shutterstock

Despite the drawbacks caused by the pandemic, real estate analysts still consider Japan as a lucrative investment hotspot – and property investors both local and abroad agree, seeing as investment volume has continued to rise. 

“Japan is a safe haven for wealthy individuals in Asia. Nowhere else in Asia can you buy freehold land as a foreigner,” Mori Nishimura of Housing Japan told Global Property Guide. 

Most foreign investors are from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Buyers from Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, the US, and Western Europe have also shown a growing interest in the country.  

The demand is expected to continue in 2022 as the country still remains to be a desirable investment location for ultra-rich Asians. 

More: 6 of the best places to experience the beauty of Hirafu, Greater Niseko, Japan

Niseko Property Market Review August 2021 by C9 Hotelworks, founded by Greater Niseko Jury Chairperson Bill Barnett, revealed that world-famous ski destination with the finest powder snow Niseko “has remained attractive to real estate developers and international hotel operators during the pandemic.” 

“Although the current worldwide economic remains uncertain, domestic and foreign developers in Niseko are receiving strong demand for land acquisitions of residential plots,” the report added. 

Several developers and designers in the area, including major winners at the recent PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Greater Niseko), such as SC Global Developments Pte Ltd., The Pavilions Niseko KK, Parry (Group) Property Investment & Development Company Ltd, Marumi KK, and ISA Architects Inc., have been anticipating the eventual return of tourists and investors, confident that the market will recoup post-Covid. 

Property enquiries have also surged to a record Covid-era high in the first two months of 2022, with interest mostly coming from people residing in major urban centres in Japan and abroad who are looking to have a healthier, less-stressful lifestyle, reported Ski Asia. 

Hokkaido – home to famous ski resorts, wild forests, crystal clear waters, volcanic mountain ranges, and rolling farmed fields – have caught the eye of a new flock of property buyers: individuals looking for a property that meets their newfound work-life balance lifestyle.  

Most tourists, who have been to the region pre-Covid and now have the liberty to work from home, view this location as the most ideal place to live and work remotely.  

More: Move over Niseko, here comes Furano

As for the commercial market, CBRE uncovered that 54 percent of Japanese investors count on their acquisition volume to outperform the previous year, reported World Property Journal. 

Their survey also revealed that these investors have had a change of heart towards offices, viewing it again as the most attractive asset type. Other asset types that have caught their attention this year are data centres and cold storage facilities. 

In general, Japanese economy shrunk by 4.5 percent in FY 2020 because of the outbreak, but it started to bounce back again last year, increasing by 2.6 percent due to the rising number of vaccinations and easing of economic restrictions. 

The government predicts the momentum to spill over in 2022, forecasting a GDP growth of 3.2 percent. 

Heard of outstanding residential or commercial projects in Greater Niseko, Japan? Nominate them for the 2022 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Greater Niseko) on or before 23 September 2022. To know more, visit AsiaPropertyAwards.com/Award/GreaterNiseko/.     

Gynen Kyra Toriano, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].