• Powder Snow, Hot Springs, Japanese Culture and a Great Return

    8 May 2008

    The Niseko Powerhouse, developed by RidgeRunner Architectural Design & Development, is the first high-specification, eco-friendly resort lying at the foot of Japan’s premiere ski and golf destinations.

    The development is made up of thirty-six apartments, divided among three blocks, set alongside a 15-room onsen hotel and two restaurants.

    Built to an intelligent design and due for completion for the winter 2008-09 ski season, the Niseko Powerhouse is designed to make use of the latest energy saving technologies to offer environmental sustainability, high specification styling and sound investment returns.

    The apartments are also fully managed, offering buyers a low maintenance investment and opportunity to enjoy some of Asia’s best ski and summer tourist facilities.

    Located just 800m from the ski-lifts, the Niseko Powerhouse enjoys immediate access to some of the world’s best powder snow in the exclusive surrounds of the Higashiyama village. Buyers have the added assurance of working with RidgeRunner, an experienced internationally managed Japanese property and real estate company.

    Niseko is regarded as one of Japan’s top two ski resorts and provides a natural combination of crystal white powder snow, natural hot springs, striking nature, Japanese culture and delicious cuisine.

    The region appeals to both sports-lovers with a thirst for action and leisure-seekers looking for peaceful tranquility, boasting snowfalls of up to 15 metres and water content of just eight per cent. The five-month winter sports season runs from the end of December to early May.

    Higashiyama is part of Niseko’s largest ski area which also includes Grand Hirafu, Annupuri and Hanazono, where a single lift ticket provides access to more than 48 kilometres of ski runs serviced by 38 lifts. A total of nine ski-fields lie within an hour’s drive of the development. All four resorts are inter-skiable by riding modern ski lifts to the top of the peak and skiing down to the next resort.

    Excellent infrastructure and regular shuttle buses link the resorts making it easy for beginners to experience Niseko’s enormous variety.

    The area is fast being discovered by international tourists, whose numbers have grown seven-fold since 2001, with 1.5 million visitors flocking to Niseko in winter and the same again throughout the rest of the year. Such figures provide excellent year-round occupancy rates, allowing the Niseko Powerhouse to offer excellent investment returns in a high-performing property market with real estate available at bargain prices compared to other world-class ski-resorts.

    The transformation of the resort into a summer and winter playground for nearby Asian countries represents a golden investment opportunity capable of generating a recurrent income with potential capital gains for the investor. Furthermore, Niseko looks set to enjoy opportunities and massive publicity as it prepares to enter the world spotlight in July when the 2008 G8 Summit is held at nearby Lake Toya, a short 45 minute drive away.

    In December 2007, numbers were reported to have jumped 30 per cent over the previous season and Niseko’s property market continues to offer excellent capital growth with price rises of 38 per cent in 2007 and 33 per cent in 2006. Surging demand from international tourists, combined with world-class property management and maintenance services provide net anticipated rental returns of five per cent per annum. Investment in Niseko Powerhouse therefore represents an opportunity to participate in these profits on a save-as-you-build basis where investors buy off the plan direct from the construction companies in the RidgeRunner group, sidelining developer fees.

    Indeed, as the Niseko area continues to enjoy such growth, investment returns have exceeded capital growth expectations and as a worldclass ski location, real estate in the Niseko area remains a fraction of the price of comparable international destinations.

    Niseko Powerhouse Apartments have been carefully sited to provide magnificent views of Mt Youtei, Mt Konbu, the Niseko Valley and Higashiyama farms, while interiors feature the internationally sought-after signature northern Japanese styling of Kakukobo Inc. architects combining a mastery of space with modernist Asian details.

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