SINGAPORE - The Housing Board's deficit climbed to $1.98 billion in the financial year ended March 31, largely on the back of a gross loss on the sale of flats, disbursement of Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grants and the expected loss for flats that are currently under development.
In its annual report published on Wednesday (Oct 23), HDB said it recorded a deficit of $2.4 billion from its housing programmes but this was offset by a $462 million surplus from other activities such as rental and commercial businesses.
In financial year 2018/2019, $532 million in CPF grants were given to eligible buyers of resale flats and executive condominiums, compared with $466 million the previous financial year.
On the upgrading front, the agency saw a deficit of $557 million, down from $639 million the previous financial year.
The HDB also reported a 38 per cent decline in the number of flats sold, with sales of 16,608 units completed in the last financial year compared with 26,857 units sold the year before.
Approximately 15,300 Build-To-Order flats across mature and non-mature towns were launched in the last financial year.
As of March 31, 81 per cent of Singapore's population live in HDB flats, with about nine in 10 owning their flats.
HDB chairman Bobby Chin noted that the public residential market has remained stable, with a moderate increase in resale volume and a healthy take-up rate for new flats.
As with every year, HDB will receive a grant from the Ministry of Finance to make up the deficit. MOF has provided the agency with a grant of $2.03 billion to finance the deficit.
Mr Chin said even as HDB marks its 60th anniversary next year, it is mindful that the road ahead will be challenging.
"An ageing population, and rapidly changing urban and social landscapes mean that we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. I am confident that HDB will continue to innovate and harness technology to deliver well-designed and quality homes for Singaporeans," he said.
Correction note: This article has been edited for accuracy.