SINGAPORE - To Mrs Ng Siew Lay, 48, the $60,000 cash premium she paid to close the deal on her five-room Marine Parade flat a few weeks ago was "very reasonable".
This, despite the fact that the $825,000 flat is on a low floor and will require a $50,000 renovation job.
"It's near my son's school, near the city, near the good eateries, near the beach," said the stay-at-home mother of three.
"If only I had more cash, I would pay for a flat with a sea view."
House-hunters like Mrs Ng are why cash-over-valuation (COV) payments - what buyers pay above a flat's valuation to secure its purchase - have skyrocketed in Marine Parade in the last 12 months.
Data from the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) show that the median COV in the neighbourhood rose 47 per cent to $55,000 in the past year, the biggest jump islandwide.
Second place went to Bukit Merah, where median COV climbed 31 per cent to $42,000.
Agents said that Marine Parade has always been a top draw, thanks to nearby schools such as Tao Nan School, CHIJ Katong Convent and Ngee Ann Primary, and the scarcity of units for sale.
It is a small estate of only 23,300 residents.
But in the past year, the high prices of private property in the area, which pushed buyers to the HDB resale market, and the news that the Eastern MRT line will run through Marine Parade, have stoked the COV fire, they said.