I Understand Why Forest City Condos Are Often Vacant After a Night’s Stay

From Luxury To Empty: A Journey Through Malaysia’s Deserted Forest City

In the southern region of Malaysia, Forest City is a luxury development constructed by China’s largest developer, Country Garden. The project cost an impressive $100 billion and covers four square miles. The estate features towering apartment buildings and a stunning white-sand beach overlooking the Johor Strait, with views of industrial plants in Singapore.

During my first visit to Forest City in May 2022, I was struck by how deserted the development appeared. Hundreds of apartments had dark windows, and there were few people on the roads or at the beach. Despite plans to house 700,000 residents in the next six years, only 9,000 people currently reside in the estate.

My curiosity was piqued when I heard that a security guard at a local condominium mentioned that only 20 people lived there. Returning to Forest City in March 2023, eight years into its construction, I decided to try staying overnight in one of the vacant apartments. Through a property manager, I booked a homestay at a condominium unit for 70 Singapore dollars ($52) per night. Similar units are available on Airbnb for as little as $38 per night.

The owner of the unit declined to comment on my story due to privacy concerns. Despite multiple requests, Country Garden did not respond to my queries about the status of Forest City. Despite its grand plans, the estate remains largely unpopulated, raising questions about its future development and appeal to potential residents.

As I walked through the empty corridors and gazed out at the deserted beachfront properties from my room window, it was clear that this once-promising development had fallen short of expectations for both investors and prospective residents alike.

In conclusion, while Forest City may have been built with grand ambitions in mind by Country Garden’s largest developer

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