Khaw Boon Wan: HDB moves to reduce focus on COV

SINGAPORE — To reduce the focus on Cash-Over-Valuation (COV) in negotiations during the sale of a flat, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will only accept valuation requests from resale flat buyers after they have been granted an Option to Purchase by flat sellers.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who announced this change in Parliament, said this will restore the original intention of valuation, which is to help buyers obtain a housing loan. This change will take effect from 5pm today (March 10).

The HDB will also publish daily prices of resale transactions as soon as they are registered, aimed at getting negotiations to focus on recent transaction prices and reduce the focus on COVs. Currently, resale prices are published twice a month.

While the balance between buyers and sellers has been re-titled, the market is not at its optimal state, and thus it is premature to withdraw cooling measures, Mr Khaw said.

To further protect property buyers, the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) will launch an online guide to provide general tips to consumers who are thinking of buying a foreign property.

The CEA will also step up its effort to regulate estate agents marketing overseas property developments here and Mr Khaw advised members of the public to report to the CEA any marketing activities by unlicensed foreign estate agents, so that the CEA can investigate and take appropriate actions.

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