China firm gears up to sell Iskandar units

China firm gears up to sell Iskandar units

Chinese developer Country Garden will release homes at its Forest City project in Iskandar for sale to Singapore investors in this half of the year.

Forest City, a joint-venture development between Country Garden and Johor's Esplanade Danga 88, is an eco-township to be built on four reclaimed islands in the Johor Strait.

The developer told a briefing yesterday that it has received permits for the sale of 700 units, comprising mostly high-rise condominium units and some hotel apartments. The exact number of units to be put up for sale is yet to be fixed.

"The volume and type (of units) will be moderated according to demand... We have not set the price yet, probably RM1,200 per square foot," said Country Garden vice-president Cheng Guangyu at the briefing. RM1,200 is S$400.

The first phase of Forest City includes high-rise coastal residences, which will be released for sale in Singapore, China and Malaysia. They will include two- to four-bedroom apartments ranging from 818 sq ft to 1,915 sq ft, the developer added. Residents will have access to a range of amenities, including hotels, malls, parks and features such as smart technology and a car-free zone.

Forest City is a mixed-use development spanning about 1,386ha on four man-made islands, with an estimated investment of $58.3 billion over the next 20 years.

The mega development - Country Garden's second in Iskandar and its largest real estate project outside of China - is part of moves to establish a larger overseas presence.

Its first project in Iskandar was a 9,000-unit development, of which nearly 80 per cent have been sold, Country Garden chief strategy officer Jeff Lin told The Straits Times yesterday. About 30 per cent of the buyers were Malaysians, 20 per cent were from Singapore, with the rest from China and other countries.

The developer is not overly concerned about worries of a global recession affecting sales.

"There're always economic cycles, we are prepared for any downturn or slowdown... Based on our study and our performance in China, we are still doing very well," Mr Lin added. He noted that there is still "strong buying power" for a segment like sustainable city projects.

This article was first published on January 23, 2016.
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