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Singapore’s HDB reports record S$5.38 billion deficit attributing to expenditure on housing upgrades

Singapore’s Housing Development Board reports a record S$5.38 billion deficit in FY2022, said to be driven by new flat development costs and enhanced housing grants.



Singapore’s Housing Development Board (HDB) has reported a record deficit of S$5.38 billion for the financial year 2022 (April 2022 to March 2023), up 23 per cent from the previous year.

According to HDB’s released annual report, the deficit has swelled due to comprehensive efforts to upgrade ageing homes, the development of new flats, and an increase in the issuance of keys to new homeowners.

The HDB said that its undertaking to rejuvenate Singapore’s public housing landscape, particularly through the Build-To-Order (BTO) scheme, continues to be a pivotal aspect of its financial outlay.

The Chairperson, Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong, underlined the board’s commitment to affordability, especially for first-time BTO buyers, who typically rely on CPF contributions, avoiding cash outlay.

Notably, the HDB has introduced targeted measures to support young married couples and families with children, enhancing their ballot chances and prioritizing them in housing allocations.

The Chief Executive of HDB, Tan Meng Dui, pointed out that the construction sector has faced a 40 percent surge in costs since FY2019, due to supply chain uncertainty, increased material costs, and a labor crunch. Despite the headwinds from the global economy, including the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and the pandemic, Singapore’s property market has shown resilience, with HDB absorbing the increased costs to keep flat prices stable.

A significant portion of the deficit, approximately S$4.68 billion, is attributed to the anticipated losses from flats under construction, the disbursement of CPF housing grants, and the gross loss on the sale of subsidized flats. The latter saw a steep climb to $1.2 billion, nearly double from the previous fiscal year, as the number of flats sold jumped to 18,478, a 36.8 percent increase, marking the highest sales figure in half a decade.

HDB also ramped up its investment in upgrading programs to S$558 million, a marked increase from the previous year’s S$392 million. This includes the Home Improvement Programme which upgraded 33,704 flats, with a significant number of households also opting for elder-friendly installations under the Enhancement for Active Seniors program.

The board has also increased its land purchase spending to S$5.95 billion in FY2022, a notable increase from S$4.93 billion the previous year.

In addition, approximately S$141 million was spent on providing rental flats.

To address the deficit, the Ministry of Finance granted HDB S$5.389 billion, an increase from the S$4.4 billion allocated the previous year.

Looking ahead, the National Development Minister, Desmond Lee, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to maintaining affordable and accessible public housing. He introduced the Standard, Plus, Prime framework, which is set to take effect from the second half of 2024, ensuring choice public housing locations remain affordable and the housing system stays equitable and sustainable.

As part of its forward strategy, HDB maintains that it does not price flats merely to recover development costs and projects the launch of up to 23,000 new flats in 2023, with a goal of 100,000 between 2021 and 2025, reflecting a proactive stance to meet the housing demands of the future.

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“Musturbation of numbers” to show deficit & hiding their incompetence!!!!!!

Does losses include the $100 million town council fees lost in Lehman Brothers ? or just contra? tsk tsk tsk

HDB can make stupid mistakes like painting a BTO completely red, must remedy this and that, of course there will be cost overruns and deficit. Having a useless million$ minister-in-charge and yet still have so much inefficiency around, dun have deficit also very unrealistic.

For an organization, before attributing any operating deficit to the ppl, external factors, cost of materials, bad luck, never adopt new tech, blah, blah, blah ….. the first sensible thing to look at is whether the Management is competent. In my experience, 9 out of 10 there lies the root problem.

We are all aware the costing of land is a from the left hand to the right hand kind. So, I am not perturbed by the deficit the HDB suffered.

In any case, surely the HDB should, by its nature and mission, be in deficit?

Another left hand to the right hand thing is what the polyclinics charge.

On my last visit, I saw the doctor’s consultation fee was $67+. After subsidies, it came down to $6+. Is a private clinic doctor fee as high?

Or was the fee stated just to show Singaporeans how “caring” the G is?

Why MND/BCA/HDB never dare to publish the comparative EFFICIENCY of our build/construction sector to that in other developed/advanced countries? BTOs nowadays using prefab tech still take 3-5 years to hand over to owners – just think where the operating deficit is from. From housing upgrades, meh???

No wonder they can convince themselves that an Indian is a Malay, hor. Yeah, pigs can fly too. Ownself Believe Ownself.

How about removing the cost of land from the books and see what happens to the deficit experienced by HDB? Consequently, what do the books for the URA look like? Can each and every land sale transaction done by the URA for every fiscal year be released to the public? What the ruling government is trying to do is obscuring half of the transaction and claiming that they are “losing” money. Should every sale be considered a “loss” then since we should ignore the part where the seller receives the money? If the ruling government can do it, why not… Read more »

Ask Desmond

How can it be? I dont believe. I dont believe. LOL

I remember one donkey here says our pappy generals employed are capable people and mostly comes from Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford to run our garment sectors? So how can it lost money?

No land cost, almost everything outsourced to cheap labor, banglas, etc ? Even town council fees got excess to invest in Lehman brothers?

Btw does HDB own commercial properties such as terrace factories, etc and collect rentals? Anyone knows? What do you think?

Nothing more than a tricky bookeeping job for public.

Oh No proper planning?!? Take highest pay Yet there is a Deficit. And Best no need to be held accountable… So report for what ah?!? The top level dun need to be held accountable for the deficit what so no point reporting?!? No?!?