Singapore’s HDB faces record deficit: A dive into the contributing factors

In the financial year 2022, Singapore’s Housing Development Board (HDB) reported an unprecedented deficit, marking a 23% surge from the preceding year. That’s a whopping S$5.38 billion deficit between April 2022 and March 2023. This article delves into the myriad factors that have culminated in this financial scenario.

Upgrading of ageing homes

The past year saw HDB significantly ramping up its efforts in home upgrades. Spending on these initiatives witnessed a 40% spike compared to 2019.

Central to this was the Home Improvement Programme, tailored to address persistent maintenance issues prevalent in older flats. Furthermore, a noteworthy trend emerged as a substantial number of households opted for elder-friendly fittings, availing them at subsidized rates.

Development and sales of new flats

hdb deficit 2023

The fiscal landscape for HDB was further impacted by the gross loss stemming from flat sales, which nearly doubled from the previous year. In terms of numbers, FY2022 saw the sale of 18,478 flats, marking a 36.8% uptick from FY2021.

This surge can be attributed to the rejuvenation of the construction sector post-pandemic, leading to the completion and handover of more new flats.

CPF Housing Grants and their impacts

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grants, integral to the HDB financial framework, underwent a shift in FY2022. Grants amounting to S$686 million were disbursed to HDB resale flat and executive condominium buyers.

Interestingly, this figure represents a dip from the previous year, a trend influenced by the decrease in resale transactions.

Read more: 9 must-know things about using CPF to buy a house

Other significant expenditures

Beyond the aforementioned factors, HDB’s financial books reflected other notable expenditures. Approximately S$141 million was channelled towards the provision of rental flats, with a primary focus on repairs and maintenance.

An additional S$432 million was allocated for diverse tasks, ranging from the enhancement of electrical infrastructure in public housing estates to lease administration and the efficient management of facilities such as parking lots.

HDB’s commitment to affordability

hdb deficit 2023

Despite the financial challenges, HDB’s unwavering commitment to affordability remains evident. The board’s pricing strategy for flats is not driven by a motive to recover costs. This approach is underscored by the fact that nearly 90% of first-time flat buyers have seamlessly serviced their housing loans using only their monthly CPF contributions.

Looking ahead, HDB has set its sights on launching up to 23,000 flats in 2023, reinforcing its dedication to catering to the housing demand in Singapore.


The record deficit faced by HDB in FY2022 is a confluence of multiple factors, from home upgrades to flat sales dynamics. However, amidst these financial intricacies, HDB’s core mission of providing affordable housing to Singaporeans remains undeterred.

As the board navigates these challenges, its vision for the future remains clear and steadfast.

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