Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Chinese buyers to solve Iskandar’s housing glut

The large number of residential properties in Iskandar Malaysia can be absorbed by the market claim Chinese developers, as they bring with them fresh demand from China’s growing middle class.

“We have one million owners in China, and it’s like a fan club. Wherever we go, there are just buyers that buy without any questions,” said Nicholas Hum, Sales and Marketing General Manager at Country Garden Holdings.

The Hong Kong-listed firm has been criticised for its enormous Forest City project, which is being built on reclaimed land close to the Tuas Second Link.

At a separate development in Danga Bay, across the sea from Singapore’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the developer is building a condominium which it hopes will be as successful as its other housing projects in China.

In 2013, this project surprised the market when 6,000 of its 9,400 units were reserved within a month of its launch. Although some unqualified buyers were subsequently filtered out via the loan application process, the figure of 6,000 has remained due to later sales, Hum said.

This year, 200 units have so far been taken up at the project, and Country Garden is optimistic that more buyers from China will back this development.

In fact, the Chinese have become the largest buyers of this project, accounting for 35 percent of the units. The second largest group are Malaysians who have bought 30 percent of the units, followed by Singaporeans (25 percent).

In addition, some Chinese buyers have applied for the long-stay visa scheme under the Malaysia My Second Home programme, noted Hum.

“They’re trying to come here more frequently and without restrictions. So it’s not just a summer home, it’s a second option.”

Chinese buyers are also being lured by world-class learning institutions at the nearby EduCity and the prestigious British boarding school Marlborough College.

“A lot of them are concerned about their kids. They plan quite far ahead,” he explained.

Image: Artist’s impression of Forest City by Country Garden.

Farah Wahida, Editor at PropertyGuru Malaysia, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email farahwahida@propertyguru.com.my


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