COE prices fall despite smaller quota ahead

Certificates of entitlement (COE) tumbled in the latest tender yesterday, despite buying interest whipped up by last week's Singapore Motorshow and the prospect of a smaller quota ahead.

The COE premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp slid 10.9 per cent to end at a four-month low of $36,890, while that for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp fell by 5.8 per cent to $42,661 - a 23-month low.

The open COE category, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, ended 7.2 per cent down to $44,000, the lowest in more than two years.

The commercial vehicle COE premium closed 2.7 per cent lower at $39,000 - a seven-month low.

The premium for motorcycles was the only exception, inching up by 3.9 per cent to finish at $8,001, the highest since March last year .

The results came as a surprise to industry players.

Usually, COE prices tend to rise immediately after a motor show.

The Singapore Motorshow ended on Sunday.

The premium for motorcycles was the only exception, inching up by 3.9 per cent to finish at $8,001, the highest since March last year.

The next COE quota - for February to April - is expected to be smaller for cars, with fewer vehicles scrapped in the preceding three months.

Furthermore, zero vehicle growth will kick in next month .

This means COE supply from February will be determined solely by the number of vehicles scrapped, as the Government caps vehicle population growth in its ambition to make Singapore "car-lite".

"I'm quite surprised. I expected prices to go up after the motor show," said Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Honda agent Kah Motor.

"The number of bids submitted was actually much lower. This means sales were not so good despite the motor show."

As for the motorcycle premium bucking the trend, observers point to hoarding by speculators.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2018, with the headline 'COE prices fall despite smaller quota ahead'. Print Edition | Subscribe