A Mid-Season Real Estate Wrap
Keith Rodgers of TAIGA gives us a summary of where things stand as we move into 2023.
With the peak Christmas and New Year period behind us, now is a great to take a moment and assess the property market in Niseko to the mid-point of this season.
Taking a step further back further since most of you haven’t been here since at least the 2019/20 season, Covid basically put prices in Niseko into a deep freeze. The closed borders were a wet blanket on actual sales, since people couldn't get on a plane to come take a look. Unlike the US and Canada domestic demand did not pick up enough of the slack, although there were noticeably more Japanese looking at property in the last two years.
Most everything owned by foreigners here is a cash purchase by people with enough of a buffer that they don’t panic during a downturn. Working in the Niseko property market through global financial crash (GFC) of 2008 and again with the tsunami in 2011, I saw first hand that most sellers stayed firm on price. As before, actual sales during the pandemic were mostly limited to smaller land deals and houses, going to veteran buyers with established relationships with local agents, or to people who live within Japan.
If there was a silver lining to the pandemic, it was that enquiry was consistent throughout. Even during the depths of lockdowns, TAIGA received enquiries every week for all kinds of property and budgets. With less sales, we had to drown our sorrows in endless fields of powder snow (sorry!).
Since March, 2022 some folks were able to come over on sponsored business visas, and sales of land, apartments and houses all starting to sell again with more frequency. As the yen started to tank, enquiry reached pre-pandemic levels, perhaps even higher. With the general tourism opening in October, sales across all sectors have been brisk, and the high end is moving again. The weak yen helps, as does the pent up demand for clean country living.
The period around Christmas was frenzied, with accepted offers on several properties in excess of 100 million yen. The buyer profile is largely Asia based, and it feels from TAIGA's own sampling that buyers from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have been particularly active. A noticeable amount of American tourists have been taking advantage of the weak yen and powder snow, and there was a noticeable increase in enquiry from the USA. With Chinese New Year around the corner, I anticipate that Hong Kong buyers will once again become the driving force in the market.
While there are plenty of great options still available in both land and finished properties, the truly great ones are starting to sell, and now is a great time to take a good look at some of the remaining jewels. Get in touch to discuss options that fit your needs and budget, and we will be happy to help you find the right property for you.