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COE supply expected to drop 11% in Feb-April next year

SINGAPORE-BASED online car marketplace sgCarMart (SGCM) on Friday predicted that there will be 11 per cent fewer certificates of entitlement (COEs) for the February to April 2021 quota period.

This extrapolation is based on the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) passenger car lower deregistration numbers in October this year - which fell by about 2 per cent from the previous month.

For cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp, the COE supply is projected to drop by 7 per cent to 1,795, from the monthly average of 1,925, according to SGCM. Meanwhile, the supply for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp is likely to average 1,924, down 4 per cent from 2,014.

SGCM estimated that there will be an average of 610 COEs a month for the open category, down 34 per cent from 926.

COEs in this category can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, although they usually end up being used almost exclusively for bigger cars.

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"The continued outpacing of bids compared to the available quota will likely see COE premiums continue its upward trend," said SGCM.

Buying interest for new cars is expected to rise in December, with year-end sales and promotions across most brands, it added.

SGCM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Business Times, has been releasing similar reports for the past few months, in hopes of giving consumers greater visibility of the potential COE supply ahead of LTA's official figures.

LTA typically releases COE supply numbers around two to three weeks before an upcoming quota period.

In the recent Nov 18 bidding exercise, COE premiums increased across the board for all car categories. Premiums for cars in category A (up to 1,600cc and 130bhp) increased by 4.7 per cent to hit S$37,690. This is also 11.9 per cent above the 12-month trailing average.

Premiums for category B rose 5.4 per cent to end at S$41,101, while premiums for the open category increased by 5.1 per cent to S$41,503, the highest in 2020.

New car prices have thus increased for most dealers, noted SGCM, which monitors a "selected panel of new car dealerships".

For category A models, nine dealers upped prices, with brands like Honda, Renault and Volkswagen raising prices by at least S$2,000. Around 12 brands too increased prices for new category B models - with Kia, Skoda and Toyota all lifting prices by S$2,000.

The only brand that did not make any price changes across both categories was Hyundai, said SGCM.

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