Median COV for HDB resale flats falls to zero in February

The overall median Cash-Over-Valuation for HDB resale flats fell to zero in February, according to latest data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange.

It is the lowest median since the Singapore Real Estate Exchange began collecting records in 2006.

It was $5,000 in December 2013 and $3,000 a month later, finally hitting the zero mark in February 2014.

Nearly half of 26 estates across Singapore saw zero, or negative, median cash premiums for flat transactions.

Analysts said it’s probably a case of the supply of resale flats outstripping demand in those estates.

Mr Thomas Tan, executive director of RE/MAX, said: “You can’t say it’s widespread in Singapore because not all the flats in Singapore are transacted under value. Because there are flats in Singapore like in Bishan, in Bukit Merah area, where they are still commanding quite a fair bit of premium in terms of the Cash-Over-Valuation.”

Topping the chart in February for negative cash premiums seen in resale transactions, by estate, was Sengkang, where 69 per cent, or 20 flats, sold under valuation.

This is followed by Woodlands with about 54 per cent, or 19 flats, and Jurong West and Yishun, 15 flats each.

Analysts said these estates in non-central locations naturally command less of a premium.

Overall, the volume of resale transactions dipped from 931 in December 2013, to 918 in January and an estimated 734 in February 2014.

Mr Chris Koh, director of Chris International, said: “Historically also, February, with Chinese New Year, and you know about two weeks of Chinese New Year, you see lesser activities. Not many sales, not many purchases during those two weeks. So again, that would put an impact on prices.”

Analysts said the various property cooling measures in place, plus the launch of Build-To-Order flats, have driven demand away from resale flats.

They added that falling premiums indicate a measure of success in the government’s move to engineer a “soft-landing approach” in stabilising the property market.

Resale prices fell 1.8 per cent in February.

Going forward, analysts expect this to be the trend till mid-2014, until more buyers enter the resale market again, lured by cheaper buys.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 6 Mar 2014

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