What homebuyers want: Three key trends reshaping the property market

What homebuyers want: Three key trends reshaping the property market

The company sold more than 84% of Midtown Modern within two days after it was launched. 

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 development, Midtown Modern, seems to have struck the right mix of convenience, versatility, and green space. Despite economic headwinds, GuocoLand sold over 84% of units in Midtown Modern just two days after its launch. 

“We still see the market performing resiliently and this is 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 Midtown Modern and Midtown Bay within the 3.2-hectare integrated mixed-use development, Guoco Midtown. The development, expected to be completed by end-2023, also houses 700,000 square feet of Grade A office and a network hub, spanning 80,000 square feet.

The development is also directly connected to an MRT Interchange station that leaves its tenants just a train away from schools and workplaces along the Downtown and East-West Line. 

Moreover, GuocoLand introduced the “One Lift Ride Lifestyle,” where, as the name suggests, residents are just a lift ride away from retail podium, supermarket, cafe, 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 included the Guoco Midtown Gardens in the development, where residents may stroll within a 3.8-hectare landscaped area. A 50-metre lap pool, a tennis court, pavilions, and even a dance studio will also be available to residents.

“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.”

“We are also realising that many homeowners actually have chosen Midtown Modern because we have a dance studio, pavilions, and also open lawn areas where they can work on their health and fitness in the development outside of their homes.” 

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 that feature a versatile flex room designed with dimensions that can be used in a variety of ways. The flex room is small, but has 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 useful 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 would prefer larger dining areas for example, and if they are living in smaller scale units, they have the option to hold their guests in the function rooms in the clubhouse or even in the side areas where there are private dining pavilions, equipped with professional kitchen facilities.”

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


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