Consultants said buying interest in the estate has largely been from upgraders living in nearby mature Housing Board estates like Serangoon or Hougang.
Landed homes and private condos predominate, so it is seen as a fairly exclusive housing estate, said Mr Ong Kah Seng, director of R'ST Research.
The newest project in Kovan is Roxy-Pacific Holdings' freehold condo Trilive in Tampines Road.
About 70 to 80 per cent of the 222-unit project will be set aside for dual-key units, catering to large families with three generations living under one roof, said Roxy-Pacific Holdings.
It will also have one- and two-bedders, and unit sizes will start at 463 sq ft to 1,195 sq ft.
Official prices are not out yet but Mr Ong expects the project's units to go for around $1,350 per sq ft (psf) to $1,400 psf.
Next to Trilive is the 337-unit condo, The Tembusu, by Wing Tai. The 18-storey freehold project was launched last August, and is set to be completed in 2017.
It will have one- to four-bedroom apartments, dual-key units and penthouses, ranging from 474 sq ft to 3,886 sq ft.
Five units were moved at a median price of $1,541 psf last month, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data shows. So far, 82 per cent of the project has been sold.
Projects that have attracted healthy buying interest include BBR Holdings' freehold condo Bliss@Kovan at 6A Simon Lane.
A 2,357 sq ft unit was sold for $2.38 million - or $1,011 psf - in March. So far, 133 units have been put up for sale at the 140-unit project, with 130 units sold.
Retail facilities in Kovan include Heartland Mall and Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre.
Resale activity in Kovan has slowed, in line with an islandwide slide in the secondary market.
Data compiled by real estate firm PropNex Realty shows 11 resale deals done in the area during the second quarter, well down from 66 a year earlier.
The 521-unit Kovan Residences in Kovan Road, completed in 2001, has a lease of 99 years. The latest deal was on April 21, when a 1,442 sq ft unit was resold for $1.57 million or $1,088 psf, going by caveats lodged with the URA.
Kovan Residences had 18 leases secured in the first quarter at a median rent of $3.48 psf, Mr Ong noted.
Kovan Melody, a 778-unit condo next door, had its latest resale deal on May 7. A 1,292 sq ft unit went for $1.48 million, or $1,146 psf.
"There are no major employment hubs like business parks in the north-east, and the residential profile is very localised," said Mr Ong.
But this is expected to change when new commercial developments are added to the nearby Serangoon Sub-Regional Centre, allowing businesses to locate outside the city, said PropNex.
"With this, residents can expect better access to employment opportunities and more amenities," said the firm.