Planning a skiing vacation in the peak season can be a nightmare of co-ordinating bookings for accommodation and international flights. But with a budget of slightly more than HK$2 million, you can solve the problem by buying a ski chalet that will guarantee a vacation home as well as rental income. Next month, property investment group IP Global will offer 15 luxury ski chalets at its joint-venture development in the northern Japanese municipality of Niseko to Hong Kong buyers. Niseko, on Hokkaido Island, was recently voted No2 in Forbes Traveler's 20 snowiest ski resorts in the world and is a popular ski site among locals as well as visitors from Australia and Britain. The snow season in Niseko lasts for 195 days, second only to Canada's Whistler resort city, which has 254 days of snow. Tim Murphy, the managing director of IP Global, said the number of snow days a location enjoyed directly influenced the prices of ski properties. He said the chalets to be sold next month were all within five minutes from access to the ski slopes of Grand Hirafu, and offered panoramic views of Mount Yotei. They are part of the 45-house phase three development of Niseko Country Resort and are due for completion by the end of next year. Prices range from US$276,449 for a 100 square metre two-bedroom chalet on a 480 sq metre lot, to US$1.2 million for a 300 sq metre four-bedroom unit on a 870 sq metre lot. 'We will offer a tailor-made service to our buyers if they want to add a garage, a garden or even a bigger house,' said Mr Murphy, who has bought three lots in the project to build a five-bedroom chalet for his own vacation home. Buyers of the phase three development would get a 15 per cent discount on the average target price of 62.87 million yen (HK$5.37 million), he said. The discounted price of 53.44 million yen was still about 10 per cent higher than the average price of 48.38 million yen achieved in each of the previous two phases of the development, he said. Phase one was launched in May last year and sold at an average of 46.38 million yen each. Buyers will receive bank financing of up to 80 per cent of the purchase price. Mr Murphy said an Australian bank would offer buyers a mortgage rate of less than 3 per cent a year. Buyers who opt to receive a 7 per cent rental guarantee for the first two years could use the house for three weeks a year. During the peak season, rents could be 50,000 yen to 60,000 yen per night, Mr Murphy said. 'All chalets under our management had been fully booked in the first week of this winter.' The sale of 25 chalets in the first two phases raised a total of US$16 million from buyers in Hong Kong who included Chinese families and Canadian and British expatriates, as well as those from Singapore, said Mr Murphy. Despite land prices in Niseko heading lower after having jumped 33 per cent over the past 12 months, Mr Murphy is optimistic about the market outlook. 'Sales volumes are expected to be low due to the strengthening of the yen and the tightening of the mortgage market. But for the long term nothing has changed in the fundamentals of Niseko. It has a four-season climate, receives plenty of snow and is not overdeveloped. People are still happy to buy for lifestyle,' he said. Although no secondary transactions had been recorded in the project, he expected the number of such deals in Hirafu to be about 88 next year.