Country Garden Goes For A Walk, But Not In Birmingham
The world's largest residential developer, China-based Country Garden, has chosen London, not Birmingham, for their U.K. debut, despite signing a £2B development agreement with Birmingham City Council in September 2016.
The agreement to acquire a £400M East London residential site comes almost exactly a year after it was reported by Property Week that Country Garden saw a "golden opportunity" in the London property market. In April 2017 it was reported that senior figures in Country Garden were no longer based in Birmingham but shuttling between London, the Midlands and China.
The tie-up with Country Garden was hailed in 2016 as a major step for Birmingham, with some political leaders putting the value of the deal as high as £5B.
Birmingham City Council responded to Bisnow's request for an update on the status of the joint venture with Country Garden by saying that they would make announcements when the time was right.
"We remain engaged with Country Garden on identifying investment opportunities in Birmingham. As a city, we have ambitious plans to provide 51,000 new homes up to 2031, as outlined in the Birmingham Development Plan, and overseas developers are and will continue to play a role in delivering this target," Birmingham City Council Assistant Director for Development Richard Cowell said.
"Birmingham has stepped up its investor engagement in Asia and we are seeing increased interest from mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore."
The acquisition of the £400M development site in East London from Galliard Homes/Lindhill has re-assured investors that Chinese developers are not being forced out of the U.K. by Beijing's capital control.
Country Garden reported last month that its 2017 core profit rose 106% whilst net profit rose 126% to £2.9B.