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What homebuyers want: Three key trends reshaping the property market

GuocoLand capitalised on these trends, resulting in 84% of Lentor Modern units sold in two days.

With remote work and a newfound emphasis on wellness, the housing market has seen a shift in the way homebuyers search for properties. No longer just a place to sleep, they want spaces that are versatile and adaptable—a home office during the day and transforms into a personal gym at night. Whilst urban properties with easy access to malls and public transportation are their popular choice, they often lack green spaces such as parks. Homebuyers are then faced with a tough choice between convenience and wellness. But developers are stepping up to meet their changing demands, a prime example of this is GuocoLand. 

GuocoLand’s latest developments, Lentor Modern and Midtown Modern, seem to have struck the right mix of convenience, versatility, and green space. Despite economic headwinds, GuocoLand sold over 84% of units in Lentor Modern just two days after its launch. Meanwhile, Midtown Modern sold over 60% of all units during its launch weekend in March 2021.

“We still see the market performing resiliently. One of the reasons for us saying this is mainly because most of the launches last year sold very well,” Dora Chng, general manager (Residential) at GuocoLand, said, adding that the property market will likely benefit from multinational corporations setting up shop in Asia, as well as the growing middle-class population.

This January, JLL reported that developers have returned with new launches rebounding to 410 units, the highest in four months. This also represented a 130.3% increase compared to only 178 units released in the same month last year. 

“Pent-up demand from potential buyers who sat out of the market due to limited options available in 2022 is expected to return to pick up units from an increased line-up of project launches this year,” Chia Siew Chuin, head of Residential Research at JLL, said. “The anticipated return of Chinese buyers, particularly to the high-end/luxury segment of the residential market, will add to overall sales numbers.” 

In addition, Singapore’s property market will be underpinned by a steady inflow of talent and wealth preservation. This will also boost demand for prime properties amongst international high-net-worth individuals (HNWI). In 2022, Singapore’s super-prime market and ultra-prime market saw a total of US$121b and US$18b worth of sales. It ranked second in the Asia Pacific and sixth globally. 

“Singapore continues to attract high-net-worth homebuyers both domestically and from all over the world,” Nicholas Keong, Head, Private Office, Knight Frank Singapore, said. “Post-pandemic era, the country is regarded as a safe haven to a wider spectrum of high-net-worth individuals and families with the manner in which the government had the wherewithal and the financial resources to keep the economy and public health stable even in a period of global economic uncertainty and political tensions.”

Seize the day in a minute

“Homeowners don't want to spend so much time commuting to and from work, to and from dinners in that aspect,” Chng said. 

With this in mind, GuocoLand constructed Lentor Modern.  This integrated mixed-use development is directly connected to Lentor MRT station, placing residents just a train ride away from schools and workplaces along the Thomson-East Coast Line. 

Moreover, GuocoLand introduced the “One Lift Ride Lifestyle” in Lentor Modern, where, as the name suggests, residents are just a lift ride away from the retail podium, supermarket, childcare centre, cafes, and restaurants. 

“Living on top of this transit-oriented development, you can actually seize the day in one minute,” she said.

Need for green spaces 

“What is deterring families from living in the city when it is so convenient to be right where everything is?” Chng said. “It's really the lack of greenery and family-oriented facilities in the developments in the city.”

To address this, GuocoLand conceptualised the Midtown Modern, where residents may stroll in more than 1 hectare of greenery within the development and take a dip in a 50-metre lap pool, a tennis court, and entertainment pavilions in Midtown Modern, and even a dance studio in Lentor Modern.

“Midtown Modern is one of the first family-oriented residential developments in the central business district. We will be the only CBD condominium with full facilities.” The development is now 88% sold.

“Besides its connectivity, many homeowners chose Lentor Modern because of its proximity to green parks and spaces and the abundance of facilities – such as a dance studio, pavilions, and open lawn areas where they can work on their health and fitness.”  

Flexible units win

“Although many buyers are upgrading to larger units due to the change in their lifestyle needs, we noticed that most buyers do not really need a larger one. Rather, they are looking for a unit that is flexible to meet their needs,” Chng said.

GuocoLand introduced two to four-bedroom units in Lentor Modern that feature a versatile Flex Room designed with dimensions that can be used in a variety of ways. These Flex Rooms are small, but have enough space to fit a single bed, Chng said. It can be used as a nursery, gym, playroom, or even a guest bedroom. The rooms will also be helpful for home-based entrepreneurs in need of an office or workshop. 

Chng added Midtown Modern and Midtown Bay also have duplex units, where two identical units stacked above each other offer space for hosting guests on the lower level, whilst still allowing homeowners to keep their privacy preserved on the upper level. 

“Lifestyle changes have evolved even before the pandemic. We noticed people entertaining family, friends, and business associates more frequently than before,” Chng said.

“Home buyers may choose to host their guests in the function rooms in the clubhouse or at the private dining pavilions, instead of their homes.”

GuocoLand built their residential developments around these three key trends, which proved to be effective, as demonstrated by the quick up-take of Lentor Modern and Midtown Modern. 

 

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