POSTED: 10 Apr 2013 5:54 PM

SINGAPORE: The overall Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) for HDB resale flats dropped S$1,000 to end at S$31,000 for the month of March 2013. This was the lowest monthly COV in the last six months.

On a quarterly basis, HDB median COV fell S$1,000 to end at S$33,000, indicating the first drop since the beginning of 2012, according to the residential property flash report released by the Singapore Real Estate Report (SRX) on Wednesday.

Among the flat types/HDB towns which saw at least 10 resale transactions in the first three months of 2013, the highest median COV of S$86,000 was registered by executive-type flats in Hougang.

Despite lower COVs, overall median resale price rebounded to S$460,000 in March, up 1.2 per cent from previous month’s S$454,500.

On a quarterly basis, overall median resale price rose 1.1 per cent to end at S$460,000 in the first quarter of 2013.

Experts said by maintaining the Mortgage Service Ratio (MSR), the government’s cooling measures have curbed buyers’ ability to pay for the COV.

ERA Realty Network’s key executive officer, Eugene Lim, said: “Primarily because the cooling measures kept the MSR ratio, which therefore affects the buyers’ ability to take higher loans.

“So when loan quantum is affected, we find that inevitably it will affect their ability to pay COV. So going forward, we can expect COVs to continue to decrease over the year and possibly reach about 20-25,000 (dollars) by year-end.”

Overall, HDB median rentals have been constant at S$2,400 on both monthly and quarterly basis.

The cooling measures also affected resale prices of private homes.

Prices of resale private homes fell 2 per cent in March, compared to February, despite an 87 per cent rise in sales volume.

– CNA/al