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.
While Nagano’s urban areas are seeing a slowing in the rate of decline in land prices, one district in the prefecture is seeing no end to eroding land values.
The Hirao district in Yamanouchi Town, known for being home to the Jigokudani Monkey Park and several ski areas, is also home to the steepest drop in both commercial and residential land values in the prefecture. According to the Standard Land Prices issued by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the rate of decline at several survey locations in Hirao worsened in 2018. Land values dropped by between 2 ~ 4% in 2018. In some locations land prices have declined year-on-year since the late 1990s.
A Tokyo-based company established just a month ago with capital of 50,000 Yen was the winning bidder for the former Arai Mountain & Spa Resort in Niigata Prefecture. The overgrown hotel was put up for public auction in early June with a minimum bid set at 884 million Yen. Three companies submitted offers, with “Hotel and Resort Joetsu Myoko” making the highest bid of 1.8 billion Yen (14.6 million USD).
The resort closed down in 2006 and was eventually seized by Myoko City for non-payment of taxes. The property includes 200 hectares of land, and 22 buildings including a hotel and restaurant.
According to the company register, the winning bidder was a company established in Minato-ku, Tokyo, on May 1, 2015. The city will make the final decision regarding the sale on June 26, with the buyer to pay the remaining amount on the same day. Stakeholders have objected to the sale and it is possible that the transaction could be delayed.
The overgrown and abandoned former Arai Mountain & Spa Resort in Niigata Prefecture has been purchased by Tokyo-based A. C Holdings for 1.3 billion Yen. The company, which is involved in construction and golf course development, plans to re-open the ski resort and target wealthy tourists from China and across Asia.
The Arai Resort was developed by Hideo Morita, eldest son of Akio Morita( the co-founder of Sony) and opened in 1993. Over 50 billion Yen was invested in creating a world-class health resort. In its first year, however, the resort ran into management difficulties and Morita’s relatives provided an additional investment of 23 billion Yen to prop up the company. Eventually the over-investment, poor management and low tourist numbers led to the closure of the resort in 2006.
Japan’s resort areas are seeing a dramatic polarization of their property markets. Some areas, such as Karuizawa and Okinawa are seeing prices rise, while other areas are seeing year-on-year falls. Why is this happening?
Thai property developer Property Perfect has invested 770 million baht (approximately 1.9 billion Yen, or 24 million USD) in the takeover of the relatively unknown Kiroro Ski Resort, 43km west of Sapporo, from Mitsui Real Estate.