Latest COE premiums signal prices stabilising

Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums closed mostly higher in the latest round of bidding, which ended at 4pm yesterday, continuing the upward trend from the last tender two weeks ago.

The greatest increase was seen in the category for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp which finished at $38,501, up about 3.14 per cent from $37,330 previously.

For cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp, the COE price closed at $38,941, up about 1.1 per cent from $38,510.

The premium for motorcycles ended at $7,204, up from $7,115 previously.

The open category - which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, but is mostly used for bigger cars - also closed higher at $38,600, up from $38,389.

Traders noted, however, that prices had inched up only slightly from the previous round, and said this is a sign of COE premiums stabilising.

"The increase is not that significant, prices are quite stable now," said Mr Raymond Tang, managing director of Yong Lee Seng Motor.

This suggests firms are not rushing in with their bids, a move which would drive up prices significantly, he said.

Stable COE prices are good for the market, he added.

"Consumers might be frightened off if the prices keep going up and down like a roller-coaster," said Mr Tang.

However, he cautioned the gradual increase could mean a significant increase in prices over the next few rounds of bidding.

"If consumers have the budget, they should go in now," he said.

Only the premium for commercial vehicles closed lower at $33,190, dipping about 3 per cent from $34,202 in the previous round of bidding.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2018, with the headline 'Latest COE premiums signal prices stabilising'. Print Edition | Subscribe