In several reports released recently, it has been established that vacations are good for you! No surprise there. This is especially relevant when we see that the number of days, we take for our holidays per year is decreasing significantly. With the long-hour work ethos prevalent in Asia, it is more important for people to take holidays that emphasis relaxation and pampering in order to recharge their body and mind.
Resort-based vacations are becoming more popular whether that is a tropical island break, one of the ideal dream destinations for an increasing number of desks bound workers or for the fast-growing thrill seekers a skiing break in the winter or downhill mountain biking in the summer. On all accounts the need for adventure, whether that is through exploring islands, or thundering down a snow-covered mountain is rapidly growing, especially in Asia where the growing middle class is looking for more from their holidays.
By 2050, 64% of the world’s population is forecast to be living in urban areas according to the United Nations. Asian interest in second home ‘lifestyle’ purchases will strengthen in the next five to ten years but there will still be a desire to generate an income from their acquisition and this can be achieved via a commercial enterprise such as a managed resort, holiday let or small vineyard etc. Many resort-based investments allow for limited or long-term stays with the remaining days rented out or used as part of a resort hotel portfolio with income returns generated.
Interest is likely to be focused within Asia Pacific initially. Accessibility and new transport routes will be critical in determining where future demand is strongest. Commutable islands, mountains with skiing & summer activities & places of interest, with year-round flight availability will outperform other destinations;
London to The Balearics, New York to Florida, Singapore to Bali, Hong Kong to Niseko.
The world is shrinking due to improved transport links which is allowing new markets to open up such as Niseko Village in Hokkaido, Japan for those ski and mountain enthusiasts. Foreign skiers arriving in Sapporo have increased 10-fold in the last 10 years and there doesn't seem to be any stopping this growth curb, especially with the rise in the Asian middle class and the growth in popularity of skiing/snowboarding
Niseko is Japan’s leading ski resort “the Aspen of Asia” and its main attraction is some of the world’s finest fresh “champagne powder”.
The local government has embraced immigration in a way the central government has not. The area’s booming economy has spurred investment in luxury hotels, restaurants, and shops — and attracted local and expat workers who have become full-time residents. Niseko’s population grew 2.9 percent last year to 4,952 compared with 2010 levels, the highest mark in four decades. Nationwide, the population slid 0.7 percent over the same period.
“There haven’t been any other towns that have been this successful before,” said Tatsuya Wakao, a consultant at Fujitsu Research Institute. “They did a good job in recognizing the need for foreign tourism.”
True, not every rural community is blessed with the ski slopes and hot springs that Niseko enjoys and should the town’s much larger neighbour Sapporo win its bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2026, Niseko would host the Alpine events for the games and enjoy an even bigger economic windfall.
Buyers, quite rightly, appear increasingly attracted to tight planning restrictions, allowing them the confidence to buy properties that comply with strict building codes and environmental initiatives. With the many unscrupulous developments sprouting up throughout Asia, it is important that buyers are confident that the developer they work with has complete bona fides and a strong track record in building quality residences. Japan is ideal for this as all land and property purchases are freehold, with clear title registered at the land office for local and foreign investors.
Established resort operators, offering upper-mid to high-end apartments and villas with full service facilities are attracting a growing number of investors from Asia. JNW Properties, a Hong Kong based company established by William Louey, Nicolas Pulinx and myself, Jo Lodder has been set up to focus on the growth in this region with their first project Snow Dog Village in Niseko, Japan. This is completed and running extremely successfully with 5-star reviews, just 200m from the ski slopes, and beautifully located in woodland, managed by SkiJapan. We will be launching a number of other resort projects in 2019.
All good reasons why investment and holidays in this location will work, both for the winter skiing and the summer extreme sports
Snow Dog Village is an excellent resort property in the JNW Properties portfolio. Whilst we have known for a long time that most owners actually take the time to use their resort properties, it is becoming progressively accepted that the benefits and gains of owning a holiday home far outweighs the price paid for a vacation. The impact that leisure time has on lifestyle, productivity and health are starting to be accepted as an essential component of our well-being.