Our Singapore Conversation: Participants divided over whether to scrap COVs

Scrapping the cash-over-valuation (COV) was one of the top ideas mooted to lower the prices of resale flats at an Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) session on Wednesday night.

But others cautioned that that was a market mechanism for buyers and sellers to differentiate between flats, and would probably continue under the table even if scrapped.

About 50 participants, including both home owners and home buyers, vigorously debated different ways to make Build-to-Order (BTO) and resale flats more affordable.

They roundly rejected some ideas such as selling flats back to the Government instead of on the open market but were receptive to having larger housing grants for first-time buyers.

Almost all said they wanted the prices of flats to decrease or be maintained over the next year or so. A handful, however, leaned towards a slight increase in flat prices so as to keep pace with inflation.

The next OSC session on public housing, about monetisation options for the elderly, is on June 12.