HDB to build more flats to meet rising demand as supply falls
Joyce Teo
Wed, Oct 17, 2007
The Straits Times

THE Housing and Development Board (HDB) has committed to building more flats to meet rising demand as supply is depleted and prices continue to rise.

In the next six months, it will offer about 4,500 new flats under the build-to-order system, which puts flats on the market only if the take-up rate is favourable. HDB will also release three new Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) sites, which will yield about 1,500 flats.

"The rosy economic outlook and improved market sentiments have resulted in rising demand for new HDB flats," said HDB chief executive Tay Kim Poh at a briefing on Tuesday to discuss the latest HDB annual report.

In the financial year ending March, HDB sold 5,712 new flats, down from 10,000 the previous year. Of these, 2,290 units were four-room flats, 1,303 five-room units and 1,057 executive flats. But bookings for new flats rose by 7.2 per cent to 8,455 units.

Most of the resale deals during the year were for four- and three-room flats.

From January to September, HDB offered a total of about 2,700 flats under the various BTO systems.

The HDB also increased the supply of two-room flats and rental flats to help lower-income families, offering two-room flats for sale under the BTO system for the first time. Also, it started building new rental flats and is converting five vacant blocks of three- and four-room flats into one-room and two-room rental flats.

For the latest financial year ending March, HDB reported a deficit of $740 million, down from $1.4 billion in the previous year, due to a one-off impairment loss provision.

Some 4,037 rental flats were let, up from 3,962 in the previous year.

HDB said it will implement innovative solutions to bring its popular lift upgrading programme to more blocks.

For example, for older blocks of a certain design, it will provide lift access via a new door entrance for the units.

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