After Spending a Night in a Forest City Condo I See Why Many Are Empty

Forest City is a luxury development in southern Malaysia. China’s largest developer, Country Garden, spent $100 billion to build the estate.

I visited Forest City for the first time in May 2022, and it was a ghost town. I found towering apartment buildings spread across four square miles. A white sand beach overlooked the Straits of Johor, where I could see the silhouettes of industrial plants. western Singapore. At night, the windows of hundreds of rows of apartments remained dark. There were barely any cars on the road and only a handful of people on the beach.

Forest City projects that some 700,000 people will live in the area over the next six years. For now, it is estimated that there are only 9,000 inhabitants.

In 2022, a security guard at a local condominium told me that 20 people lived in the complex. This left me curious as to what it would be like to spend a night in one of these apartments.

In March, eight years after Forest City began development, I returned to the estate.

I booked a homestay in a condominium unit for 70 Singapore dollars, or $52, through a property manager. Dozens of similar units are listed on Airbnb for as little as $38 a night. The unit’s owner, based in China, declined to comment for this story, citing privacy reasons.

Take a look inside one of the thousands of vacant apartments in Forest City.

Country Garden did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Business Insider.


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