SINGAPORE - Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices ended higher across the board at Wednesday's tender. This was despite a bigger supply of certificates.
COE for cars up to 1,600cc rose by 2.1 per cent to hit $75,556 - the highest since cooling measures were announced six months ago.
For cars above 1,600cc, COEs inched upwards by 1.6 per cent to end at $77,600.
The open category COE, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up mainly for cars, was also marginally higher at $77,989.
Both these categories are now at their second-highest levels since the introduction of car loan curbs.
The continuing flurry of construction in the housing and infrastructure sectors also fuelled the rise in commercial vehicle COE.
On Wednesday, the premium ended 4.9 per cent higher at $68,251 - the highest since the COE system started in 1990.
Motorcycle COEs ended 4.7 per cent higher at $1,792.
Motor traders were surprised by the latest results, even though they acknowledged that the time lapse between the previous tender and Wednesday's was three weeks - longer than the usual two.
With a longer gap, vehicle sellers have more time to collect bookings; and a bigger order book usually translates to firmer COE bids.
But this factor was expected to be mitigated by a bigger COE supply. In the six-monthly quota starting this month, there are about 14 per cent more car COEs up for bidding - with the bulk going to the category for bigger cars.
Volkswagen Singapore's general manager of sales, Mr Daniel Chong, said: "The market seems to be in turmoil. No one knows where prices are going any more."
Like others, he pointed out that the launch of new models - such as the 1,595cc Mercedes-Benz CLA200 - is also fuelling bidding.
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