April 23, 2024 1:22 pm
I Understand Why Forest City Condos Are Often Vacant After a Night’s Stay

In southern Malaysia, the luxury development of Forest City stands tall at an estimated cost of $100 billion. Spanning four square miles, this estate boasts stunning apartment buildings and a pristine white-sand beach that overlooks the Johor Strait and offers views of industrial plants in Singapore.

During my first visit to Forest City in May 2022, I noticed that the development appeared deserted, with countless vacant apartments featuring dark windows and few people on the roads or at the beach. Despite plans to house over 700,000 residents within six years, only around 9,000 people currently call this estate their home.

My curiosity piqued during my return to Forest City in March 2022, eight years into its construction, I decided to experience staying overnight in one of its vacant apartments for myself. Through a property manager, I booked a homestay at a condominium unit for just 70 Singapore dollars or approximately $52 per night. Similar units are available on Airbnb for as little as $38 per night.

Despite multiple requests for information from Business Insider regarding the status of Forest City and its future development plans, Country Garden did not respond. The owner of the condominium unit I stayed in declined to comment due to privacy concerns. As I explore this grand project further, questions about its appeal and potential success continue to surface amidst its current state of low occupancy rates.

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