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January 26, 2022

Propnex Will Become An Authority In The Landed And GCB Market


PropNex Property Frontrunners Series Featuring Henry Lim, Head of Good Class Bungalows and Prestige Landed, PropNex Realty
By PropNex Research and Editorial

The latest PropNex Property Frontrunners segment cast its spotlight on Henry Lim, who was recently appointed to head the firm’s Good Class Bungalows and Prestige Landed Services business. An industry expert with 28 years’ experience, Henry has set his sight on making PropNex the authority in the landed home and GCB market in Singapore.

GCBs are undoubtably the pinnacle of residential real estate. These rare properties have been the subject of much interest among the super wealthy, business tycoons and newly-minted Singapore citizens. The GCB market has had a good run in 2021, find out about Henry’s views on the landed homes and GCB market outlook for 2022 and what motivates him to go the extra mile for clients, day in, day out.

1. Tell us more about your real estate experience/track record
I have been in the real estate industry for 28 years, focusing mostly on landed homes and the extremely exclusive Good Class Bungalow (GCB) segment. Over the decades, I have built up extensive knowledge and skills in the landed residential property market in Singapore, as well as developed a strong network of investors and high net worth clients. All that has contributed to my healthy track record in the business - having transacted more than 100 high value properties with an estimated combined sales value of more than $1 billion.

One of the key achievements for me was single-handedly selling 9 out of 13 GCB land in Holland Park for Fraser Centrepoint between 2003 and 2005, where many salespersons had failed to close any deals since 2003. In January 2021, I sold another GCB in Holland Park. Having successfully done so many deals in the area, I can very confidently claim that I am the top GCB salesperson for the Holland Park locale.

2. Which aspects of your work do you enjoy most and were there anything particularly memorable?
I love to view Landed Houses and Land, particularly GCBs. There is a certain dreamy quality about such properties - with their sprawling grounds, beautiful lawn, and tranquil environment. I enjoy viewing and inspecting the house and land, identifying the various positive or negative attributes and evaluating the investment potential of the property. You could probably say it is just like how dentists are drawn to look and inspect your teeth when you pay them a visit.

Throughout my real estate career, there were plenty of heart-felt moments and memorable achievements. For instance, a few years ago, a buyer refused to work with his/her preferred salesperson either because the salesperson did not or was unable to advise the buyer about the potential problems that may arise upon purchase of the GCB. Fortunately, I spotted these issues before the purchase and pointed them out to the buyer. The buyer then raised these potential problems with the preferred salesperson, who was unable to resolve them. In the end, I managed to solve the problems and won the buyer over by being meticulous, looking out for his interest, as well as offering timely and relevant advice. I became his preferred salesperson and facilitated many other property transactions after that.

3. Why did you join PropNex Realty and what do you hope to achieve in your role?
I joined PropNex in January 2022 and I am entrusted with the responsibility of growing the firm’s presence and market share in the Landed Home and GCB segment. PropNex, of course, needs no introduction as it is well-known for being a market leader and the largest real estate agency in Singapore. After speaking with its management Ismail Gafoor and Kelvin Fong, I feel that they have a great vision for the landed and GCB market which is on the same frequency as my own vision. I could also sense their positivity and energy, and was very motivated by that. Hence, here I am.

I believe my track record and experience in the landed and GCB space will offer a strong foundation to help PropNex build up this business. A day will come – and very soon, at that – when people think about landed homes and GCBs, they will immediately think of PropNex. That is where we want to be, we will become an authority in the landed and GCB market.

4. What do you think makes a great GCB salesperson, and why?
In my opinion, a great GCB or even a non-GCB salesperson must be equipped with technical knowledge, area knowledge and market knowledge. They also need to have the latest real estate insights and be familiar with the rules that govern the sales and purchase of GCBs. More crucially, they must be trustworthy and reliable.

I’ve heard of some GCB salespeople transacting such properties with glib of tongue – relying on persuasive sales pitch with little technical knowledge. This is very risky and it may lead to misrepresentation. It is important to note that while the commission value of GCB is high, so is the liability on damages.

5. What is your take on the outlook for the GCB market over the next 12 months?

The landed homes market in Singapore was very active in 2021 and the robust demand had absorbed virtually all the supply of properties available for sale. Landed home prices and sales - including GCBs - kept rising, and we saw may high-profile transactions as well.

Based on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s property price Index flash estimate (released on 3 Jan 2022), landed home values rose by about 13% in 2021, following a 1.2% increase in 2020 – a commendable performance amid the pandemic. With prices remaining firm last year, we observed that many sellers withdrew their properties for sale in anticipation that the values will increase further. This, no doubt, contributed to the supply crunch in the resale landed homes segment.

In fact, the entire residential property market was buoyant last year, including non-landed private homes and even HDB resale. To cool the market, the government implemented new property measures in December 2021. In the wake of these new measures, I believe there will be some price consolidation in the landed homes segment, though the impact on GCB segment may not be great, as sellers tend to have strong holding power. In addition, a price consolidation for GCBs will be unlikely given the wall of capital that is seeking to invest in attractive real estate.

Meanwhile, we expect the availability of landed homes and GCBs to remain tight, with demand likely to continue to outstrip supply over the next 12 months. As mentioned, many landed home owners still have relatively healthy household balance sheet and they are unlikely to be forced to liquidate their property now - compared to what we saw in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Furthermore, the Singapore economy has done well last year and it is expected to expand in 2022. I believe investors and home buyers will continue to view Singapore as an attractive investment destination, especially with the positive outlook for the property market over the mid- to long-term.

Contact Henry to find out how PropNex can help you unlock rare opportunities in the landed homes and GCB segment.

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