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Old 25th March 2013, 08:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fall in COE prices drives crowds to car showrooms

Fall in COE prices drives crowds to car showrooms


Car dealers noted the strong demand from the cash rich, who are hoping to get more bang for their buck by shopping for bigger cars. Photo: Ernest Chua

Premiums unlikely to return to previous heights, those for big cars set to rebound, say dealers

BY
SUMITA SREEDHARAN


SINGAPORE — Prospective buyers returned in droves to car showrooms over the last two weekends, following a sharp dip in Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums earlier this month as a result of new restrictions on car loans and increase in taxes for bigger cars.

Car dealers TODAY spoke to expect the premiums for bigger cars to rebound in the next bidding exercise, which will close on Wednesday. Nevertheless, over the longer term, they do not expect COE premiums to hit previous heights.

While the restrictions imposed by the authorities would remove a segment of the demand — such as from young professionals and young families — the car dealers noted the strong demand from the cash rich, who would now be hoping to get more bang for their buck by shopping for bigger cars that might have previously been beyond their reach.

On March 13, COE premiums for Category B (cars 1,601cc and above) fell by 37.3 per cent to S$58,090. Premiums for Category A (cars 1,600cc and below) fell 4.6 per cent to S$74,686. In the Open category, where COEs can be used for any vehicle type but are commonly used for bigger cars, premiums fell by 29.3 per cent to S$65,001.

“Traditionally, fluctuations in COE prices have always attracted customers, most of whom are bargain hunters, to the showrooms,” said a dealer who declined to be named. Another added that recently, the majority of his company’s customers have been interested in bigger cars.

Mr Ron Lim, General Manager of Tan Chong Motor, felt that Category A premiums could fall this time — but not as drastically as Category B premiums in the previous bidding exercise. “I would estimate the premiums for both categories to be around mid-S$60,000, about where the ones for the Open Category ended in the last bidding. Due to the slashing of prices by dealers ... they can’t bid as high as they could in the past.”

The quirk that saw premiums of bigger cars falling below that of small cars could continue, Mr Lim said. Nevertheless, he expects the difference to be narrowed to between S$1,000 and S$2,000. Mr Eddie Loo, Managing Director of CarTimes, however, estimates that COE premium for Category B would be “above S$60,000, even close to S$70,000”, while COE premium for Category A would fall but still remain “above S$60,000”.

Industry veteran Neo Nam Heng noted that while car dealers had slashed prices by S$20,000 to S$30,000 in the immediate aftermath of the measures, many have raised prices in the last few days because of brisk sales. He estimates the premiums for both Category A and B to be about S$50,000 to S$60,000 in the coming bidding exercise.

When this reporter visited the car showrooms along Leng Kee Road yesterday, most were crowded with prospective car buyers. However, several of those whom TODAY spoke to were not planning to buy a car any time soon.

Mr Bryan Lee, 35, a civil servant, said he was drawn to the showrooms by the newspaper advertisements but wanted to wait “a couple of months” for COE premiums to stabilise.

“I do not see this as a good time to go into the market as it is all too unpredictable,” said Mr Lee, whose current car is eight years old.

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore...-car-showrooms

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Old 25th March 2013, 08:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Fall in COE prices drives crowds to car showrooms

"the car dealers noted the strong demand from the cash rich".......

Says it all. So much for 40% downpayment.

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Old 1st April 2013, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Fall in COE prices drives crowds to car showrooms

Yes, but I believe many are expecting the COEs to fall further.

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Old 2nd April 2013, 08:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Fall in COE prices drives crowds to car showrooms

Yeah. No ready cash. All see see look look pray pray for COE to slip down further.

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Old 2nd April 2013, 09:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Fall in COE prices drives crowds to car showrooms

These people are spoiling the market, would it kill them to wait for at least 2 more COE bidding exercises to be over?

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Old 3rd April 2013, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Fall in COE prices drives crowds to car showrooms

Originally Posted by Lancelot View Post
These people are spoiling the market, would it kill them to wait for at least 2 more COE bidding exercises to be over?
Yes, either that or they will wait for MOT's next move.

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