About an hour drive from Shunde, is Gaoming in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China. Nansha was recently named as being where Guangzhou's second airport will be built. I flew into Guangzhou airport once after a holiday in Hainan and couldn't get a sense of how big the airport was because we landed in thick smog.
We went to see a housing development named Europol Flower City. The infrastructure has yet to be completed but they are building a highway and a mass transit railway with a connection to Guangzhou and Shunde. After that's built, you'll be able to go to Guangzhou, hop on a high-speed train and go to Hong Kong.
So far Phase 1 has been almost been completed; 86 houses and three blocks of flats. All pre-sold. Ten more blocks will be built in the next phases but no more houses. What's interesting about this development is that the land was bought in 2007 but the government capped the profit margin of property sales at 1.5% and 48% of the total development had to be greenery. Once news broke about the second airport go ahead, the properties were snapped up in days and once completed, the development will have 3,000 households.
Now, the houses. These aren't your terraced house variety. Commonly known as villas, these are big houses. Two or three floors above ground, one or two level basements, garages or off-road parking and multiple rooms. As is common in China, new properties are concrete shells only - the owner pays for the fit out. There's nothing in the house at all apart from some plumbing and wiring. In common is the high ceiling in the lounge (at least two storeys high) and every house has a different layout.
These incredible houses were priced around RMB3 million (about US$456,000). And they are all sold out. It's a gated community and there will be shops, schools, and other amenities. Most are lying empty waiting for renovation or will remain a shell as an investment. Some have space for a swimming pool. We noticed warning signs were bilingual (ignore the spelling; the fact they have English is of interest).
We saw a housing development in Zhuhai which was a similar scale except for the fact each house had a garage and a lift shaft, and there were proper straight streets of houses. A parimeter wall with guards. Again, the Europol Flower City development isn't unusual. There are thousands and thousands of these developments in China.
As usual, for me, the one thing that always gets me is the sheer size of these developments. Over the border in Daya Bay are countless mega developments with every flat/house sold and being lived in. We went to a Chinese Estates development that faced the sea with a strip of beach. There must have been easily 20 blocks of flats all sold. Twenty minutes down the road and through a tunnel, was another massive development by a different developer.
Enjoy the photos of Europol Flower City.