Last year, I wrote an article “How much Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) should you pay for your HDB flat?” It was ridiculous and hilarious to me that people are asking for $80,000 to $100,000 COV at that time. I made a comment that “these are clear signs that property prices have went up to non sustainable levels”. I was trying to explain the common sense that “valuation”, by its own definition, means how much the property is worth at a given time, any premium (COV) you pay is likely unnecessary and excessive.
At that time, many people whom I know were still unfazed because “Singapore property will always go up”.
However, figures do not lie. In August this year, HDB Cash Over Valuation was already lowest since January 2011. Now, it was reported in Today’s newspaper of “spike in number of flats sold below valuation”.
According to HDB’s latest figures, 105 units were sold in October for less than their appraisal … This means around four times as many flats were sold below valuation in October alone than over the whole of January to June.
This has forced sellers, such as assistant manager Raymond Koh, 37, to adjust expectations.
After asking for a cash-over- valuation (COV) of $20,000 for his $526,000 five-roomer in Punggol earlier this year and finding no buyers, he cut his price. “I lowered my COV to $10,000, then $5,000, then zero,” he said. “Then I started going negative.”
Today, his second-floor, nine-year-old flat is on sale for $20,000 below valuation.
Is this just the beginning? Last week, government announced another record 8,952 flats were launched for sale. If we go back to basic common sense, when there are continuous new supply but the demand is stagnant or diminishing. How much should you be willing to pay?