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08 April 2013

8th April 2013, Monday




COVs take a dip as housing transactions drop

Source: The Straits Times

Cash premiums that buyers pay for Housing Board flats have fallen in the first three months of this year, on the back of a lower volume of transactions.

The largest drop came from areas such as Punggol, Tampines and Pasir Ris, where the premiums went down by 21 per cent, 13 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

According to data from Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX), the median overall cash-over-valuation (COV) for the first quarter of this year was $33,000, down from $34,000 in the preceding three months.

However, overall median prices still rose from $455,000 to $457,000 during the same period.

SRX also recorded just 3,186 HDB resale transactions in the first quarter of this year, the lowest quarterly figure since 2009.

Property analysts say these numbers are a result of a slowdown in the market, as buyers come to grips with cooling measures that restrict their purchases, and take stock of the new flats on offer.

Since January, mortgage payments to banks have been capped at 30 per cent of a borrower's monthly household income. There were no restrictions for such loans before, allowing some home buyers to spend up to half their wages on their mortgages.

Another reason could be the new rules affecting permanent residents, who typically represent about 20 per cent of the HDB resale market. Since January, they need to pay 5 per cent stamp duty for their first residential home, up from zero before.

But not all towns saw weakening cash premiums.

Popular spots Ang Mo Kio and Kallang/Whampoa both saw a rise in overall COV of about 8 per cent.


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