New private home sales rebound in March on two major new suburban launches in Lentor Hills – The Straits Times

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SINGAPORE – New private home sales rebounded in March on the back of two major suburban launches – Lentor Mansion and Lentoria – in Lentor Hills estate, but the average take-up rate for new projects within the first month of their launch continued to slow as buyers turn more selective and price-conscious.

Developers’ sales more than quadrupled to 718 homes, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), in March, up from 153 in February.

Together, Lentor Mansion and Lentoria accounted for 65.3 per cent of the total monthly new home sales in March.  Lentor Mansion sold 409 of its 533 units at a median price of $2,269 over its launch weekend, and the 267-unit Lentoria moved 60 units at a median price of $2,129 psf.

Year on year, new private home sales were up nearly 46 per cent from 492 units, but were 13.6 per cent below the five-year average of 831 units for March, according to JLL. This brings new private home sales to 1,175 units in the first quarter of 2024, a 6.4 per cent drop from 1,256 units sold in the first quarter of 2023.

Ms Chia Siew Chuin, JLL’s head of residential research for Singapore, noted that homebuyers have turned cautious due to multiple rounds of property curbs, softer economic conditions, and high financing costs. Many are taking longer to take the plunge due to higher prices and a growing pipeline of new launches.

“The average take-up rate of new projects (with at least 100 units) within the first month of their launch fell to 55 per cent in 2023 from 72 per cent in 2022. The take-up for similar private residential projects launched in the first quarter of 2024 averaged 40 per cent, compared to 47 per cent in the first quarter of 2023,” she noted.

A total of 877 units, excluding ECs, were launched last month, up from 45 in February and up 53 per cent from a year ago.

This brings the total new launch tally in the first quarter of 2024 to 1,339 units, up 2.1 per cent from a year ago. But this remains below the five-year first-quarter average of 2,066 units, suggesting developers are cautious in timing their new launches, Ms Chia said.

PropNex head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said the suburbs have “helped to turbocharge developers’ sales in March”. She added: “The launch of Lentor Mansion and Lentoria also helped to channel some buying interest to nearby new projects – Lentor Hills Residences and Hillock Green.”

In March, 605 suburban units were sold, representing 84 per cent of total developers’ sales. This was the submarket’s strongest monthly performance since September 2022, when 686 new homes were transacted, Ms Wong noted.

Lentor Mansion is the first private condo to be launched under new guidelines on the harmonisation of strata and gross floor areas, where units are sold based on liveable space.  

This could skew per square foot prices upwards by between 5 per cent and 10 per cent for such projects. But Ms Tricia Song, CBRE head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia, said Lentor Mansion was still well-received as its developers “kept layouts efficient and the price quantum comparable with, or even slightly lower than, earlier projects”.

ERA key executive officer Eugene Lim said: “Buyers are considering more than just location and price. They also scrutinise the functionality of the projects’ design and layouts, and how these align with their lifestyles and legacy planning.”

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