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    Mar 21, 2014

    New online tool to help value resale HDB flats

    HELP is at hand for those affected by recent changes to resale-flat transactions, which now encourage negotiations based on the latest transacted prices instead of cash-over-valuation (COV).

    Yesterday, the Singapore Real Estate Exchange (SRX) launched a new property pricing tool called X-Value, which aims to bring clarity to pricing and negotiations on the sale of Housing Board flats and other real estate.

    It does so by providing buyers, sellers and real-estate agents with the estimated market value of HDB flats. It also does the same for private homes.

    These values are calculated using a computer-aided methodology that incorporates comparable market analysis, together with the most recent and relevant transactions.

    The tool, which is the result of a 12-month project funded by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, is available online for free.

    For HDB transactions, buyers or their agents can use the X-Value as "a starting point for negotiating the price of the home and estimating the HDB valuation", said SRX.

    This will help them to better gauge the cash outlay before the option-to-purchase process and the official HDB valuation.

    Since March 10, buyers and sellers of resale flats have to agree upon a price first before the buyer can get an official valuation for a bank loan - a move which effectively relegates the COV to a secondary role in resale deals.

    PropNex key executive officer Lim Yong Hock told MyPaper that SRX's tool helps to create a win-win situation for both sellers and buyers.

    "With property information becoming a lot more current and transparent, (both parties) can better negotiate prices where there is less worry about the traps of overpricing or underselling," he said.

    Still, SRX chief executive Sam Baker stressed that the tool is "not a (legal) appraisal, but aims to provide a standard for pricing homes and assisting pre-valuation financing decisions".

    He said: "There still needs to be an element of human judgment when it comes to evaluating the price of a property, and you will always need the help of professional real-estate agents to justify prices, which could differ from home to home."