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COE prices have posted an increase across all categories in the latest February tender exercise, an indication of a return to healthy sales

24 Feb 2011 | Local News : Singapore

The COE prices had taken a slight dip over the festive period in late January and early February, but the latest bidding exercise yesterday saw the prices go upwards across all categories, indicating that buyers are ready to enter the market once again.

COEs in Category A, for cars 1600cc and below and taxis rose by $5875, or 15.8 per cent, to end the exercise at $42,999, almost reaching the highs of December 2010 when the COE for Cat A reached $47,604.

Category B, which is used for cars above 1600cc, posted the biggest increase, with an increase of $8600, or 16.1 per cent, ending the day at $62,000. Category E Open COEs, which is available for any vehicle but used mostly for cars, ended slightly higher at $62,001, a $3111 or 5.3 per cent rise over the previous exercise.

Car dealers said that was because many avoided February's first bidding round, which was when the new reduced quota allocation kicked in. This meant that bidding was less aggressive back then. But punters have now returned to bidding, after the Chinese New Year festive period.

Hybrid Motors sales manager Geraldine Lim said, "More people are buying cars [as] the economy is picking up, and also partially [because] after the Budget, people are very assured [about] the Singapore economy... so more or less, the buying power is still there".

Mr Chan Kee Min, senior manager at Cycle & Carriage Kia, attributed the strong rebound to healthy sales. "A lot of people were distracted or away during Chinese New Year," he noted. "Now, they are a bit more settled and have started shopping for cars again."

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