Lorraine Tan on luxe properties and what ultra-high-net-worth individuals are looking for

By EdgeProp Singapore / Special Feature | April 22, 2022 10:00 AM SGT
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As Singapore sees a higher number of billionaires and ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs), associate branch director at PropNex Realty, Lorraine Tan, believes there is a growing market for the new rich who are willing to pay a premium for their ideal homes.
UHNWIs are defined as individuals with net assets of at least US$30 million ($40.8 million).
According to Knight Frank’s The Wealth Report for 2022, the number of UHNWIs rose 8.6% y-o-y to 4,206 in 2021, from 3,874 individuals in 2020. The number of UHNWIs in 2020 also rose 10.2% y-o-y.
The number of billionaires in Singapore also rose 12% y-o-y to 28 in 2021.
In 2021, Singapore also saw the number of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) increase by 6% y-o-y to over 526,000. HNWIs are defined as those with a net worth of at least US$1 million.
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“There is an increasing number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in Singapore who are in their mid-20s to mid-30s and are looking for property to purchase. These are the tech entrepreneurs who have earned money through their businesses, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, gaming, and so on. This is a growing market, and one where I see potential in,” she shares. “Their needs and wants when it comes to properties are quite different, which makes this segment a very interesting one.”
“Based on what is worth on the market, these buyers are willing to fork out prices that could range from above $20 million to over $80 million. And we still see such transactions happening, such as the super penthouse at Les Maisons Nassim selling for $75 million, or $6,210 psf,” she adds.
To be sure, in 2021 alone, Tan transacted more than $135 million worth of transactions generating more than $2 million in revenue.

Transacting with UHNWIs

When it comes to transacting mega-deals such as multi-million-dollar properties, Tan says that there are a lot of negotiations done on the ground, even more so than regular transactions.
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While she cannot disclose much, Tan reveals that at this level, she is required to solve her clients’ problems, save them time, search for ready solutions and negotiate a deal that is in their best interests.
Tan, who got her realtor’s licence in 2016, is an authority in such matters.
lorraine tan
Lorraine Tan is the agent who brokered the sale of the super penthouse at Canninghill Piers. (Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The realtor was the one who brokered the much-talked-about super penthouse at CanningHill Piers in November 2021.
The 8,956 sq ft, sole penthouse unit on the top floor of the development’s 48-storey tower in Clarke Quay fetched a cool $48 million, or $5,360 psf. The psf price is the highest seen so far for the 99-year leasehold development by Singapore’s two giant developers, CapitaLand Development and City Developments.
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The sale at CanningHill Piers made Tan the top agent at PropNex for that month. The sale, which netted her over $1 million in commissions for that month alone, also clinched Tan the agency award of super titanium achiever.
Prior to her sale at CanningHill Piers, Tan transacted another penthouse at Marina Bay Residences just three months before, in August 2021.

Luxe condos seen as ‘trophy homes’

When it comes to luxury condominiums, a lot of the HNWIs purchase these as “trophy homes”, says Tan. “In such instances, price is less of a consideration. The tenure of a property is also not so much a factor in their decision to purchase a home.”
“These individuals want to own only the most iconic properties in the most prime locations. For instance, even though the 99-year leasehold Marina Bay Residences commands a price premium, these individuals don’t mind it at all, simply because it offers the best front-row seat to the views at Marina Bay,” Tan adds.
“It is the same with CanningHill Piers. Even though the property is also leasehold, the views are unparalleled. The penthouse is also one of the rare ones that have a generous size of over 8,900 sq ft spread over a single floor,” Tan continues.

Privacy key for high-net-worth landed homeowners

While Tan specialises in luxe properties, she also transacts landed properties with the well-heeled crowd.
In Singapore, landed properties — which include intermediate terraces, corner terraces, semi-detached houses and bungalows – are popular among the wealthy as they see such homes as a safe-haven investment. Beyond investing purposes, landed properties also offer owners a bigger space and more flexibility to design their homes in the way they see fit.
In 2H2021, $4.3 billion worth of landed homes were transacted for 421 units, according to a research report by Knight Frank. The figure brings the total value of landed home transactions in 2021 to an all-time high of $8.9 billion.
According to flash estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for 1Q2022, the Property Price Index for landed properties rose by 4.0% q-o-q.
According to Tan, many of the high-net-worth homeowners value their privacy. As such, they tend to request to screen potential home buyers before any viewings are arranged, she adds.
For instance, Tan closed the sale of a freehold intermediate terrace in Upper Thomson earlier this year, with the buyers purchasing the house at the asking price of $4.2 million without viewing the property physically. The purchase was also made just one day after Tan’s promotional video was published on her YouTube channel, Home Central.
lorraine tan and lyndon
Tan and her partner at Home Central, Lyndon Leong.
Home Central, which was established in 2017, is a platform that features home-viewing videos as well as educational videos. More than just a video platform, Home Central also offers in-house services comparable to a marketing agency
The video in question features a comprehensive tour of the house, with building and design suggestions on top of the house’s architectural structure. Renderings are also included.
“As the owner had strict privacy requirements, we had to qualify the buyers and present the home comprehensively through the video. The buyer was so confident that he decided on the unit just from watching the video alone,” she shares.
“We are one of the very few realtors that have an in-house production team. We are able to produce high-quality cinematic videos that offer the buyers the experience of walking through the unit without having to be physically there. Our architectural renderings help buyers to visualise what is possible for their landed homes in terms of rebuilding or addition and alternation works,” she adds.
For first-time property investors, Tan believes that Districts 10, 15, 16, 19 and 20, which are the top five performing districts, make good investments due to the strong sales volumes and price appreciation over the past five years.
HNWIs, in particular, are partial towards Districts 10 and 15, says Tan. “However due to the limited supply and strong demand, we may witness a spillover effect to neighbouring districts such as District 11.”

A digital-focused future

In March 2022, Tan and her team moved into their own office in a shophouse on Pagoda Street from their previous location at OCBC Centre.
tan and her team
The Home Central media team
“Here, we have our own studio where our videographers can conduct shoots and edit videos. We also have offices for our agents to work and meet their clients in a convenient and comfortable location,” she says.
In spite of her accomplishments, which include being among the top 10 agents out of 11,000 agents in PropNex, Tan is constantly looking to push the boundaries in terms of what can be done to market a property.
“In this fast-changing landscape, we are always looking to be on the cutting edge to explore new and innovative ways to market our client’s properties, from drone shots to 3D renderings and animations,” she says.
When she is not negotiating deals, you can find Tan shooting videos for Home Central’s YouTube page (@HomeCentralsg). The page includes a plethora of informative and educational property videos, as well as videos featuring luxurious penthouses, landed homes, condominiums, and more.
For more information, please contact:
Lorraine Tan l 97997955
Associate Branch Director | R057344F

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