One of China’s biggest builders is counting on a surge of sales from a $121 billion project it is building on a set of reclaimed islands between Malaysia and Singapore to bring in more than $3 billion in new sales this year.
“We expect sales at Forest City in the second half will not be below the 10 billion yuan recorded in the first half,” Mo Bin, president of Country Garden told the South China Morning Post as China’s third-largest developer released its first half financial results last week.
In March last year the Guangzhou-based homebuilder recommenced work on Forest City, a 1400-hectare development it is building in partnership with the royal family of Malaysia’s Johor State, after earlier protests by locals and objections by the Singaporean government had led to the megaproject being scaled back. Country Garden’s original plans from when the project was first hatched in 2013, called for 2000 hectares spread across four artificial islands and investment of $162 billion.
Country Garden Goes Regional to Market Malaysia Project
Country Garden’s hopes for RMB 20 billion in sales are the product of a region-wide sales campaign unmatched by any other mainland developed project.
Ads for new homes in Forest City are being advertised on local television and on billboards in public places in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and other major cities across the region.
Country Garden began selling units in Forest City earlier this year with the first phase of the project including 482 condos and 132 serviced apartments. In a report in the Straits Times earlier this year, Country Garden said it has received bookings for nearly all of phase one, with most of the buyers coming from mainland China.
Average prices at Forest City are RM1,200 ($298) per square foot, or about RM500,000 for a 517 square foot studio to about RM2.2 million for a 1,862 square foot four-bedroom apartment. Phase one is planned to completed by late 2017 Country Garden said last week.
Singapore Still Not Happy With Reclamation Work
Singaporean sources are still voicing concern about the potential environmental impact of the massive reclamation project, but Country Garden appears confident that it has the necessary support to complete the 20 year development.
Work was halted on the project last year after the land reclamation was blamed for massive fish deaths and Singapore reportedly sent two diplomatic notes to the Malaysian government. The Singaporeans were said to be concerned over the environmental impact of the project which is slated to be the largest in southern Malaysia.
Forest City is the second project for Country Garden in Malaysia, and the Guangzhou-based developer is one of several Chinese companies rushing to build new homes for sale in the Southeast Asian nation’s Iskandar development zone.
Country Garden also last week secured its second project in Australia, paying a reported $35 million to secure a set of private homes for conversion into a high-rise condo development in Sydney’s St Leonards area.