Proportion of HDB resale buyers paying COV on the uptick

Victor Kang6 Jul 2021

New HDB flats

Despite the increase, the ministry noted that the majority of HDB resale buyers did not pay any COV, with the median COV for each year remaining at $0.

The proportion of HDB resale buyers paying a Cash Over Valuation (COV) has been on the uptrend, rising from about one in five in 2020 to about one in three this year, said the Ministry of National Development (MND).

“This reflects the current broad-based demand for housing, including in the private housing market, supported by the low-interest rate environment,” it said in a written reply to Parliament on Monday (5 July).

Despite the increase, the ministry noted that the majority of HDB resale buyers did not pay any COV, with the median COV for each year remaining at $0.

MND made the statement in response to Member of Parliament Edward Chia Bing Hui’s query on whether there is an increasing trend of COV for HDB resale flats.

COV arises when the resale price agreed upon by the flat sellers and buyers is higher than the flat’s market valuation, with the difference payable only in cash. 

MND revealed that the current proportion of HDB resale buyers who paid COV is “significantly lower compared to the period between 2010 and 2013, which was the previous period when more transactions with COV were observed”.

“At that time, almost all resale flat buyers paid a COV,” it said.

Back then, the sellers obtain first a valuation from the HDB, before negotiating a COV with the flat buyers “which will determine the resale price”.

The HDB put an end to such practice in 2014 by requiring the buyers and sellers to first agree on the resale price, before securing the valuation for the purpose of determining the housing loan amount and CPF savings that could be used for the acquisition of the flat.


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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email:


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