Developer sales rebound 369.3% m-o-m in March; 718 units sold

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
Last month, new private home sales were primarily driven by GuocoLand’s 533-unit Lentor Mansion, which was launched for sale over the March 15 and 16 weekend. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
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In March, developers sold 718 new private homes, excluding executive condos (ECs), a 369.3% rebound from the 153 transactions in February. Last month’s developer sales reflect a 45.9% y-o-y increase compared to March 2023.
“The surge in developers’ sales in March came amid a pick-up in the number of launched units,” says Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex Realty.
Christine Sun, chief researcher and strategist at OrangeTee Group, attributes the “stellar performance” in new home sales last month to pent-up demand for new homes, given the absence of new launches in February. According to Sun, a direct correlation exists between new home sales volume and the number of new launches that month.

March sales driven by Lentor Hills projects

March’s launch numbers were driven by the newly released projects in the Lentor Hills estate, namely the 533-unit Lentor Mansion by a joint venture between GuocoLand and Hong Leong Holdings, and the 267-unit Lentoria by TID, a joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings and Mitsui Fudosan. Collectively, the two projects accounted for 91.2% of all launches in the month, notes Chia Siew Chuin, JLL head of residential research.
Lentoria continued to move units in March and its sales highlighted buyers’ confidence in the Lentor Hills estate. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Lentor Mansion was the top-performing private condo launch in March, with 409 units (77%) sold at a median price of $2,269 psf. It is also the biggest and best-performing new launch of 2024 so far, notes Tricia Song, CBRE head of research for Singapore and Southeast Asia. The other project is Lentoria, which moved 60 units (22.5%) at a median price of $2,129 psf.
Chinese developer Nanshan Group’s 35-unit Ardor Residence and homegrown niche developer Macly Group’s 17-unit Koon Seng House — both boutique freehold condos in District 15 in the east — made up 5.9% of all launched units in March. Two units were sold at Koon Seng House (median price $2,357 psf), and one unit was taken up at Ardor Residence (median price $2,465 psf).

‘Take-up rate moderated’ in 1Q2024

The sales recorded in March brought 1Q2024 new home sales to 1,175 units, a 7.6% q-o-q increase from the 1,092 units in 4Q2023, according to CBRE Research. However, it is 6.4% lower from the 1,256 units sold over the same three-month period in 2023.
“Take-up rate has largely moderated, and buying sentiment has turned cautious amid high interest rates and an uncertain economy,” says CBRE’s Song. “Buyers are now more selective amid more choices and high price points. Selected projects with superior attributes at realistic price points have outperformed while overall sales remained tepid.”
The sales booking for The Hillshore will take place on April 20. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
By market segment, March’s developer sales were led by the Outside Central Region (OCR) due to the success of the Lentor Hills projects, accounting for 605 units sold or 84.3% of the total volume sold last month, up from 58 units or 37.9% in February, according to CBRE Research.
Singaporeans and permanent residents made up over 98% of buyers in March 2024, says Lee Sze Teck, senior director of data analytics at Huttons Asia. The proportion of sales below $2 million increased significantly to 58.6% from 31.8% the previous month. He attributes it to the launch of Lentor Mansion and Lentoria, where 346 units sold were priced below $2 million.

RCR sales fall below five-year average

The Rest of Central Region (RCR) saw 66 sales (9.2%), up from 61 units (39.9%) in February 2024.
Ongoing sales in projects like the 816-unit The Continuum, the 1,008-unit Grand Dunman, and the 520-unit Pinetree Hill contributed to March’s developer sales. However, the tally fell significantly below the five-year March average of 278 units, says JLL’s Chia.
“New sale numbers in the RCR remained subdued due to the absence of compelling major project launches since July 2023,” adds Chia. In March, the newly launched Ardor Residence sold just one unit, and Koon Seng House moved two, she points out.

CCR stages a comeback

Despite no new launches in March, the Core Central Region (CCR) also saw better sales, with 47 units (6.5%) sold, compared to 34 units (22.2%) in February.
The better performance of the CCR segment came on the back of the relaunch of Cuscaden Reserve, with prices cut by 20%, which sparked buying interest and bargain-hunting, notes CBRE’s Song. The 192-unit, 99-year leasehold luxury condo is developed by a consortium led by Singapore’s SC Global alongside Hong Kong developers New World Development and Far East Consortium.
According to Wong of PropNex, 83 units have been sold at an average price of $3,058 psf since the relaunch in March, based on caveats lodged to date. Before the relaunch, 12 units were sold from September 2019 to December 2023 at an average price of $3,625 psf. Total sales at Cuscaden Reserve as at April 15 are at 95 units (49.5%). Hence, the average achieved at the relaunch is about 15% lower than the average sale price at the initial launch.
Cuscaden Reserve has sold 83 units since its relaunch last month at an average price of $3,058 psf. This brings total sales in the project to 95 units (49.5%) (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
In Sentosa Cove, Cityview Place Holdings sold 65 units at The Residences at W Singapore Sentosa Cove over the two days of April 15–16. Average price of units sold was $1,780 psf, about 40% below the peak in 2010.
For new launches in the CCR, the top-selling project last month was Watten House, which sold 12 units at a median price of $3,225 psf, says JLL Research. Since the project was previewed last November and officially launched in early March, 135 units (75%) of the 180-unit freehold project have been sold at an average price of $3,249 psf, based on caveats.
The highest price paid for a unit last month was also achieved at Watten House when a Singaporean purchased a 3,412 sq ft, six-bedroom penthouse for $11.795 million ($3,457 psf), says Lee Sze Teck, senior director of data analytics at Huttons Asia.
At Keppel’s 19 Nassim, 11 units were sold last month — the highest monthly sales in the 101-unit project since it opened for preview in March 2020. The median price achieved was $3,304 psf, based on URA data. To date, 31 units (30.7%) have been sold in the 99-year leasehold luxury development on Nassim Hill.
19 Nassim was the second best-selling project in March, with 11 units sold at a median price of $3,304 psf. (Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
There was a spike in transactions at Klimt Cairnhill, with eight units sold last month — the highest since October 2023 — at a median price of $3,497 psf. As at April 16, Klimt Cairnhill has sold 105 units (76%) out of 138 in the freehold condo on Cairnhill Road.
At Leedon Green, the last two units were sold, both 538 sq ft, one-bedroom apartments: one was sold for $1.682 million ($3,125 psf) and the other, for $1.692 million ($3,144 psf), based on caveats lodged on March 25. The 638-unit freehold project by a joint venture between MCL Land and Yanlord Land was completed last year and is now entirely sold.
EL Development sold the final unit at Pullman Residences Newton: a 463 sq ft, one-bedroom unit that fetched $1.59 million ($3,435 psf), based on a caveat lodged on March 13. Hence, the 340-unit freehold condo is now entirely sold.

‘Buyers more selective’

Last year’s new home sales hit a 15-year low at 6,421 units, notes CBRE’s Song. The figure is also 9.6% below the 7,099 units recorded in 2022 amid rounds of property cooling measures, a softening economic backdrop and elevated interest rates.
“Buyers have become more selective amid a myriad of new launch options,” adds Song. She sees buyer fatigue setting in and increasing resistance to high price points. “Negative newsflow from a slew of company layoffs at the start of the year, albeit globally, could have further dented buying sentiment,” she notes.
Four new condo and apartment projects are in the pipeline for launch in April and May, yielding 238 new units. Kingsford Development’s 142-unit, 99-year leasehold The Hill @ One-North; and FRX Capital’s 59-unit, freehold The Hillshore will be launched on April 20. Meanwhile, the first weekend of May will see the debut of Macly Group’s 21-unit, 999-year leasehold Jansen House; and Roxy-Pacific Holdings’ 16-unit, freehold Straits at Joo Chiat.
CBRE’s Song estimates developers could sell 7,000 new homes by the end of 2024, with prices expected to remain stable, increasing up to 5% for the year. According to JLL’s projections, new home sales will likely ring in between 7,000 and 8,000 units, with overall private home prices rising by 3% to 5% in 2024. Both come with the caveat: “Barring unforeseen circumstances”.
Check out the latest listings for Lentor Mansion, Lentoria, Koon Seng House, Ardor Residence properties

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