By Adrian Lim
Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices changed only marginally at the close of June's first bidding exercise yesterday.
Prices in Category A, for cars below 1,600cc and taxis, increased slightly, from $58,001 two weeks ago to $59,003.
Premiums for Category B, cars above 1,600cc, fell from $85,216 to $83,000. In the open Category E, prices slid as well, from $86,889 to $85,889.
COE prices in Category C, for goods vehicles and buses, dropped from $57,106 to $54,522, while premiums for Category D, motorcycles, edged up from $1,890 to $1,912.
The marginal movements were likely due to quiet car sales in the past month, industry players told my paper.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew had asked the Land Transport Authority (LTA) early last month to examine how the impending caps on vehicle growth rates - which had sent COE prices soaring - could be eased.
In response, car buyers likely held back their purchases, despite attractive packages dangled by dealers, said Mr Vincent Wong, vice-president of the Automobile Importer & Exporter Association (Singapore).
Last Wednesday, LTA announced a slew of measures to ease the COE supply crunch, including deferring a clawback in oversupply in 2008/2009, and cutting the contribution of COEs from de-registered vehicles to the open category.
Looking ahead, Mr Neo Tiam Ting, president of the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association, said that COE prices are unlikely to fall further after this bidding round.
Demand for COEs will increase as the market moves towards August, when the vehicle population growth rate will be capped at 1 per cent, from the current 1.5 per cent.