75% of Lentor Mansion Sold Over Launch Weekend, Majority of Renters Find Home Rents Unaffordable, and More

18 Mar 2024

singapore hdb landscape (1)

12 to 18 March 2024

Lentor Mansion, GuocoLand’s third condominium launch within the Lentor Hills estate, sold 400 units or 75% of its total units during its launch over the weekend. Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by PropertyGuru revealed that a large majority of renters in Singapore, at 85%, find current rental prices too high.


1. 75% of Lentor Mansion sold over launch weekend

Lentor Mansion, GuocoLand’s third condominium launch within the Lentor Hills estate, sold 400 units or 75% of its total units during its launch over the weekend, reported The Straits Times.

Prices for the units ranged from $2,104 per sq ft (PSF) to $2,478 PSF.

2-bedroom units emerged as the most popular among buyers, with all 214 units sold. About 84% of the 3-bedroom units were also sold, including 16% of the 4-bedders and 13% of the 5-bedders.

Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) accounted for 99% of the total buyers at launch.

Jointly developed by GuocoLand and Hong Leong Holdings, Lentor Mansion features a mix of 2-bedroom to 5-bedroom units spread across three 16-storey towers and three eight-storey blocks. It is set for completion in 2027.

It is the first development to be sold under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) new guidelines, where units sold are based on liveable space. 

While overall market sentiments were lifted with the positive news, it would be circumspect to maintain that the sales results may not necessarily be replicated in future launches,” shared Dr Tan Tee Khoon, Country Manager – Singapore, PropertyGuru. 

“However, what is perhaps clearer is that there are property seekers looking out for value-buys where a blend of location, amenities (integrated developments, near transport nodes and good schools) and sweet spot pricing could lead to more positive outcomes.”


2. Majority of renters find home rents unaffordable

A recent survey conducted by PropertyGuru revealed that a large majority of renters in Singapore, at 85%, find current rental prices too high, forcing many to adopt measures such as tightening their budgets or seek more affordable options, reported Singapore Business Review.

PropertyGuru’s bi-annual Consumer Sentiment Study H1 2024 showed that 69% of the respondents believe rents would further increase over the next six months, with 50% of them expecting growth of 5% or more.

With this, 37% of the renters reduced their spending to pay bills, while about 44% searched for cheaper rental properties to cope with the increasing cost of living.

Majority of Singaporeans, four out of five, believe more can be done to alleviate the rental surge.

“Renters may see some reprieve in rent moderation given more completed units available for lease, especially toward the end of the year, providing tenants with more housing options,” said Dr Tan Tee Khoon.


3. Home buyers urged to be more cautious amid looming economic uncertainties

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee has urged home buyers to be more cautious and exercise prudence amid the looming economic uncertainties.

In an exclusive interview with CNA, the minister shared that the government worked very hard over the past few years to stabilise the housing market following disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges observed during the pandemic years include increased housing demand, high resale prices and delayed Build-to-Order (BTO) projects.

Lee noted that these disruptions required time to restore balance.

While BTO application rates appears to have stabilised, home buyers need to be cautious amid the unclear economic outlook, he said.

“We see interest rates staying higher for longer. We see economic uncertainties in the road ahead of us. We see geopolitical tensions, and all these will have an impact on the property sector,” said the minister.

To support young couples in homeownership, Lee has unveiled the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, which is aimed at easing the initial cost of acquiring a flat.

The government is also providing a $300 rental vouchers in the form of the PPHS (Open Market) voucher for eligible families waiting for their BTO flats to offset rent paid for an HDB unit or bedroom on the open market. 


4. SLA looks beyond bid price when awarding co-living projects

Beyond bid price, tenders for co-living rental spaces are awarded based on the quality of proposals, reported CNA.

Notably, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) reviews bids holistically taking into consideration factors such as creativity and concept of the proposal, sustainable initiatives and contribution to the precinct’s vibrancy.

This comes amid an uptick in the number of bids for co-living properties due to rising demand.

 “There has been an increasing need for spaces for co-living concepts that incorporate many communal facilities such as wellness components to bring the community together and for people to enjoy,” shared SLA Director Carrie Wong.

Since 2023, three properties have been launched by SLA for co-living housing, with plans to release more in the coming months.

Co-living operator Cover Projects, for instance, plans to retain the heritage building’s look, equip the space with amenities and involve environmental considerations in its planning.

The firm won the bid to transform 26 Evans Road, a state property near Botanic Gardens, into a co-living space. 


5. New home sales drop 47% in February 2024

Singapore saw new private homes sales, excluding executive condominiums (ECs), drop 47% month-on-month to 149 units in February 2024, marking the lowest February sales since 2008, reported Singapore Business Review citing URA data.

The figure is also the lowest monthly sales since December 2023.

Including ECs, new home sales plunged 68.9% to 183 units in February from 588 units in January 2024.

On an annual basis, sales of new private homes, excluding ECs, fell 65.6% from the 433 units shifted in February 2023.

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) and the Outside Central Region (OCR) both accounted for 38.9% of the total transactions in February, while the Core Central Region (CCR) contributed 22.1%.

URA Realis data also showed that no new condominiums were transacted for over $10 million in February, albeit eight condominium units were snapped for at least $5 million but less than $10 million. 


6. Fall detection package to help seniors age in place to be offered from 1April 2024

Starting 1 April 2024, households in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats can subscribe to a fall detection package, as part of the Housing Board’s efforts to enhance the living environments of seniors as well as support their ageing in place, reported The Straits Times.

Minister for National Development Desmond Lee underscored the necessity of preparing for a future with a larger senior population and help them live independently.

He shared that HDB will partner with commercial vendors to provide these packages, with further details to be announced at a later date.

He made the statement at the launch of Age+ Living Lab at Block 839 Yishun Street 81.

A collaboration between SG Assist and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), the lab serves as a simulated home environment equipped with assistive products for seniors. It aims to educate seniors and their caregivers about assistive tools and gerontechnology – technology which helps meet the needs of seniors.

An example of a fall detection solution is a wall-mounted fall monitor designed by local tech provider iWow. 


7. URA releases two River Valley Green sites for sale

Two residential sites at River Valley Green have been released for sale under the first half 2024 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme, revealed the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Launched under the Confirmed List, the land plot at River Valley Green (Parcel A) had an area of 9,291.1 sq m and maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 32,519 sq m. It is expected to yield 380 housing units.

The other plot at River Valley Green (Parcel B) spans 11,737 sq m and comes with a maximum GFA of 41,080 sq m. Zoned “Residential with Commercial at first storey”, the site is expected to yield 580 units, including 220 long-stay serviced apartments.

It available under the Reserve List, which means it will only be released for sale if the government receives an offer of a minimum price that is acceptable to it and if there is adequate market interest.


8. Singapore among top sources, destinations of property investments

Colliers has listed Singapore as the world’s second-largest source of global cross-border capital, reported Singapore Business Review.

Notably, more than US$5.6 billion (S$7.5 billion) of capital invested came from the Lion City over the last six months of 2023.

The city-state also emerged as the ninth-largest global capital destination, with US$2.12 billion (S$2.8 billion) in standing assets as of last year.

By asset class, Singapore companies injected $2.33 billion to industrial properties, $1.7 billion to office properties and $785 million to hotel properties.

Meanwhile, overseas investors invested $742 million in the city-state’s office properties, $738 million in its retail properties and $458 million in its industrial properties.

Overall, the United States continued to the biggest source of global cross-border capital, while Hong Kong settled in third place. Rounding off the top five list are Canada and Germany.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom headlined the list for the top global capital destination followed by the US and Japan.

Other top global capital destinations include Germany, China, Canada, Australia, Spain, Singapore and France. 


9. HDB issues $700 million of fixed rate notes

HDB has issued $700 million, seven-year fixed rate notes under its $32 billion Multicurrency Medium Term Note (MTN) Programme.

To mature on 12 March 2031, the notes are in denominations of $250,000 with a coupon of 3.151% per year payable semi-annually in arrears.

The notes were offered by way “of placement to institutional investors (as defined in Section 4A of the Securities and Futures Act 2001 of Singapore (“SFA”)) pursuant to Section 274 of the SFA and accredited investors (as defined in Section 4A of the SFA) pursuant to and in accordance with the conditions specified in Section 275 of the SFA and (where applicable) Regulation 3 of the Securities and Futures (Classes of Investors) Regulations 2018,” said HDB.

While approval in principle for the notes’ listing on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST) has been obtained, their admission on the official list of SGX-ST should not be taken “as an indication of the merits of HDB, its subsidiaries or the notes”.

Rated AAA by Fitch Ratings, the notes were cleared through The Central Depository, with United Overseas Bank Limited as sole lead manager and bookrunner.


10. Entire floor at Royal Square on sale for $44.28 million

An entire floor of strata space at Royal Square has been put up for sale via expression of interest (EOI) with a guide price of $44.28 million, revealed sole marketing agent Savills Singapore.

Situated at Level 6 of the integrated mixed-use development, the 7,373 sq ft strata space comprises two strata titles, which may be acquired jointly or individually. Savills noted that both foreigners and companies may acquire the property with no additional buyer’s or seller’s stamp duty payable.

Currently, the entire floor is tenanted to an international hot pot chain, offering investors immediate rental income “with the flexibility for end-users to occupy the space in the midterm”.

Royal Square is a 33-storey integrated mixed-use development comprising a hotel, medical suites and a two-storey retail podium. It is located along Health City Novena, enjoying prominent visibility along the junction of Thomson Road and Irrawaddy Road.

The EOI exercise for the strata space closes on 18 April 2024.


Looking for a property in Singapore? Visit PropertyGuru’s ListingsProject Reviews and Guides.

Fariza Salleh, Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: farizasalleh@propertyguru.com.sg. 


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