New flat buyers benefited from series of policy changes

SINGAPORE — As supply of new Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats tapers off, the deficit incurred by the agency has fallen accordingly, despite having enhanced its range of subsidies supporting home ownership.

“With the overall public housing market showing continued signs of stabilising, HDB has gradually tapered off the supply of new flats since 2014,” the board said in a statement on Thursday. Recent executive condo launches include Treasure Crest and Northwave EC while existing ones include Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life EC , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire EC, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC, Waterwoods EC, Skypark Residences, Wandervale EC, The Amore EC,  Bellewaters EC.

The HDB incurred an overall deficit of S$1.64 billion in the financial year (FY) of 2015/2016, according to its annual report released on Thursday.

This is down from about S$2.02 billion in the previous FY, as it scaled back on the building of new flats.

The deficit incurred on the HDB’s “home ownership” segment alone was S$1.18 billion — a decline of 32.7 per cent from S$1.75 billion in FY2014/15.

This segment comprises the gross loss on the sale of flats, CPF housing grants handed out, and the expected loss for flats that are currently under development.

The amount the HDB received in government grants also shrank, from to. from about S$2.17 billion last year to S$1.64 billion in FY2015/16, which ended on March 31 this year.

“As a result, fewer contracts were awarded for the development of flats in FY2015/2016, hence accounting for the lower deficit from ‘home ownership’,” it added.

During this period, the HDB launched three sales exercises for Build-To-Order flats, which offered 15,000 flats across 19 projects. The previous financial year saw the launch of 19,800 flats .

The new homes launched in FY 2015/16 include Punggol Northshore, the first public housing district with smart technologies applied to estate planning and car parks, lighting and waste management.

A total of 2,206 rental flats were also built in FY 2015/16, bringing the total stock of rental flats to 55,131 units.

The HDB annual report noted that new flat buyers also benefited from a series of policy changes in FY2015/16. They include raising the income ceiling from S$10,000 to S$12,000 for Singaporean households buying new flats from the HDB, or resale flats with the CPF Housing Grant.

There is also the new Proximity Housing Grant, in which a grant of S$20,000 is given to Singaporean families who buy a resale flat in the same estate, or within 2km of their parents’ or married child’s home.

executive condo shift in policy