I read in The Star today that China’s Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ) have plans for a super huge reclamation project for luxury homes in Pendas, near Singapore. In the report, ‘sources’ said that the land area may be a few thousand acres and thus it should be one of the largest single project in Iskandar Malaysia. Country Garden is also the developer who famously launched 9,000 units of condo in one go in Danga Bay. I like the name of the project, ‘Forest City’. I think GREEN is going to be a theme for this development, especially when it is also for luxury homes.
I have many Johorean friends who said that they are not sure who these buyers of the projects are because there are just not that many Johoreans who can afford the new projects launched today. I do agree with their assessment because when I look at the prices, it is no longer lower than any Klang Valley projects or even the higher end Penang developments. Yet, when I look at Singapore’s own plans for ever more development, I realised that perhaps these projects are necessary as well. If you get a lot more of the internationally qualified professionals to work in Singapore today, where do you house them? HDB flat? Definitely not. It has to be some nice apartments at minimum or condos preferably.
Perhaps Iskandar allows them a ‘way out’. These are professionals anyway and I do not think they need to clock in on time by 8am and clock out on time by 6pm. Thus, the jams etc may just not bother them so much. Just to have an idea on the typical 1,100 – 1,300 sf condo rental in Singapore today, I went to key in ‘expat rental in Singapore’ and found a result to share.
The next question, are there really so many of them that they can occupy everything that the developers are building today? Seriously, no one can answer you that. Developers would tell you, ‘of course’. If we look at Singapore’s population growth, it was 2.4% in 2012 and total population is at around 5.3 million (2013). Fertility rate is only 1.2 which meant that majority of the growth would be external.
Ok, that is external, what about the internal demand? Surely that can help a bit? If all the education institutions in Iskandar is fully operational, then the educators should need another few hundred units. What are some of these institutions? Raffles University, Southampton University, NMIT, MMU, Newcastle University and Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). These do not include the international schools.
Only time will tell as we continue to see more supply news and demand potential news continuously.
written on 17 march 2014
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