The Housing Board may stop releasing official cash-over-valuation figures of resale HDB flats.
Industry executives told The Straits Times that the Board has signalled its intention to stop publishing these figures through its actions and in private conversations.
HDB has moved to hold back various COV data, such as the nationwide median and the proportion of resale flats sold above valuation.
The Council for Estate Agencies also began penalising agents who promise to get a specified amount of COV in their advertisements.
COV is the amount a buyer pays over and above the valuation of an HDB resale flat.
It has a significant impact on affordability as it must be paid in cash.
The HDB currently publishes the COV by flat type and the town where it is located.
Some industry experts believe that it is the best time to hold back this last measure as COVs are stable; COVs havedropped one-third from their 2011 peak to average around $25,000 to $30,000.
A real estate executive said not having an official figure to refer to will intensify the escalation of cash premiums, as figures will be tossed around by agents.
Another executive said COV figures put agents under pressure in a softening market, as sellers tend to take them as a base for the cash premium they desire regardless of the individual peculiarities of their property.
Sellers then think that it is a benchmark below which they will not sell.
Not emphasising COVs in the resale market entirely is also in line with the new rule that realtors cannot advertise based on the cash premium they can get for sellers.
And since realtors can no longer advertise based on the cash premium they can get for sellers, the HDB should similarly de-emphasise COVs in the resale market entirely, Mr Lu added.
But another executive said buyers and sellers will still seek the information from their agents as the demand is still there.