Sichuan Sanjia in talks to sell its Iskandar site

Chinese developer's move due to stiff competition, weak interest: Sources

Published on Oct 4, 2014 1:42 AM

By Rennie Whang

A CHINESE developer which has entered the Iskandar market is now looking to sell its site, The Straits Times understands.

The move comes amid a glut of property due for completion by late 2016 or early 2017, and markedly weaker buying interest in the Johor state development zone.

Sichuan Sanjia Real Estate Group had intended to launch the first residential component of its Permas Jaya waterfront site by the end of this year, said market sources.

The project was expected to have a commercial component as well.

But one to two months ago, it suspended some operations related to the Johor development, which is understood to be the firm's first foray outside China.

Sichuan Sanjia did not respond to requests for comment.

It had acquired the 1.64ha freehold site, near the Straits View condominium, for about RM44 million (S$17.2 million) in 2012.

It registered a subsidiary company in Singapore in 2008 and is understood to have scouted for premises here to house its Singapore sales gallery.

Sichuan Sanjia is said to be in talks to sell its freehold site.

"Given that it got a good price for the land, it might not have to sell at a loss," said a source.

"The market in Iskandar has weakened considerably over the past year and there seems to be more policy risks, like the reintroduction of the real property gains tax and tolls, going forward.

"It is starting to realise it missed the boat."

According to its website, the company was established in 1995, and has a registered capital of 118 million yuan (S$24.4 million) and more than 300 staff.

It has about 10 residential and commercial projects under its belt, such as Jincheng Garden and a "Sanjia D9 district".

Property consultants said it is not surprising that a developer has apparently had a change of heart.

"With so many large projects coming up, especially along Danga Bay, like Guangzhou R&F's Princess Cove, Country Gardens Danga Bay and Greenland's project, competition is stiff and buyers are hard to come by nowadays," said Mr Wee Soon Chit, executive director of Landserve in Johor.

Princess Cove is offering 3,000 homes in the first phase alone, with as many as 30,000 units in all.

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