The realtors behind the record-breaking $1.4 mil sale of Henderson flat

By Hailey Yu / Edgeprop Singapore | June 2, 2022 4:22 PM SGT
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The sale of a 1,216 sq ft, five-room flat at City Vue @ Henderson for $1.4 million last month achieved a new record price in the HDB resale market. It even surpassed the $1.38 million record set for a 1,151 sq ft, five-room unit at Pinnacle @ Duxton in March this year.
The realtors who co-brokered the deal at Block 96 Henderson Road of City Vue @ Henderson are Clarence Long and Gwen Ong, who are both part of ERA Preeminent Group. The duo was appointed exclusive marketing agents for the five-room flat last December.
City Vue @ Henderson - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The flat sits on the 41st floor of the tallest block at City Vue @ Henderson. The high-rise development has five blocks, ranging from 27 to 40 storeys, and a single 48-storey tower. The blocks are interconnected by sky bridges. Designed by Surbana Jurong and completed in 2018, City Vue @ Henderson was a Built-to-Order (BTO) project. In 2019, it won the HDB Design Award in the Completed Projects (Housing) Category.
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The five-room flat on the 41st floor was listed for sale at $1.45 million three months ago. More than 30 different parties came to view the property and five offers were made. The highest offer was $1.4 million and the deal was closed.
Given its location in the Central Area and proximity to Tiong Bahru enclave, the flats at City Vue @ Henderson were able to command a premium in the resale market. It is less than an eight-minute walk from Redhill MRT Station, says Ong. As it is still relatively new as the property still has 96 years left of the original 99-year lease.
“The panoramic view of the city skyline and partial sea view also added to the appeal,” Ong says. The flat was also fully renovated by the previous owner, she adds.
In addition, only 136 units or 11% of a total of 1,232 units at City Vue @ Henderson are five-room units, which are the largest unit types in the development. Given the rarity of these large units, they also command a premium in a sale, Long says.
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This latest deal brings the total closed by the eponymous Clarence Long Real Estate to 50 deals, with sales value amounting to $70 million. Long’s team accomplished this feat in just over six years.
Long had originally read economics at Nanyang Technology University. However, midway through his first year, he decided to switch to real estate at the National University of Singapore (NUS). A year before he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in real estate from NUS in 2018, Long decided to become a realtor to gain experience in the sector. He started Clarence Long Real Estate and positioned himself as “a knowledge-based realtor”.
“I have always found the property market to be very dynamic and interesting,” says the 30-year-old. “I figured every individual will need a house to stay in and every business will need an office space. Everything is tied back to real estate.”
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The latest sale of the flat at Henderson Road is not the first HDB deal Long had brokered. Last year he also brokered the sale of a four-room flat at Bendemeer Lights for $930,000, which was an all-time-high for a four-room flat then. (Find HDB flats for rent or sale with our Singapore HDB directory)
Besides HDB flats, Long has been involved in brokering a wide range of properties from private condominiums and strata commercial units to light industrial properties. The biggest deal he has been involved in was the sale of a redevelopment site at Bukit Timah Road for $9.5 million to niche landed property developer Sevens Group. The 999-years leasehold site at 555 Sixth Avenue in prime District 10 was developed into a pair of semi-detached houses that were fully sold before completion later this year. (Find Singapore commercial properties with our commercial directory)
After graduating, Long spent a year at international real estate consult​ancy Colliers International. He was in the capital markets team. “The topics on real estate valuation and property development were the ones that intrigued me most at NUS,” he says. He also wanted to learn more about the property development process from land acquisition to project management and construction as well as marketing and sales. At Colliers, he even learnt about the collective sale process.
While he learnt a lot at Colliers, Long said he “missed the personal connection with his clients” and decided to become a full-time real estate agent and joined ERA’s Preeminent Group.
Ong was his schoolmate at NUS. The 27-year-old says she shares a similar passion for real estate. She joined Long’s team early last year. Before that, she spent three years at international real estate advisory firm JLL in the valuation department. “I wanted to do valuation because I believe it is a good skill set to have — understanding how different real estate assets are valued,” she says.
After three years as a valuer, Ong decided she wanted to pursue a more client-facing, sales-orientated role. Hence, she too became a real estate agent. She believes her background as a valuer has given her an edge over other new agents. “I had the opportunity to work on the valuation of assets from different sectors — residential, commercial and industrial sectors — and therefore was in tune with the entire spectrum of the property market.”
According to Long, the team’s clients are diverse, ranging from SME owners to company executives, investors and home upgraders. He would like to make use of his capital markets experience to handle the sale of investment-grade buildings, from industrial properties to shophouses and strata-titled office spaces.
Ong wants to focus more on commercial and residential properties as well as handling a portfolio of assets for clients.
Despite the global economic uncertainty, with both interest rate and inflation rate on the rise, and fears of a recession, Ong is confident that the real estate market in Singapore will remain healthy. “The property market has performed well, and even though it’s cyclical, the long-term trend is upwards,” she reckons.

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