13,600 flats on track to be ready by end of the year

13,600 flats on track to be ready by end of the year

The Housing Board is on track to meet its target of building 13,600 flats this year, despite the tightening in the inflow of foreign labour.

At the same time, the Government is keeping a close eye on the supply of both public and private homes, to avoid creating a problem of having too many flats.

This delicate act of ramping up supply without causing a glut is a key strategy in the Government's move to engineer a soft landing in the housing market, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Monday.

For the public sector, "I don't see (a glut) happening, not this year, not next year", Mr Khaw told reporters at a handover of a Build-to-Order (BTO) block of flats in Woodlands.

He is less sanguine about the private sector, where the threat of an oversupply is a bigger worry as owners may be unable to earn the rental income to pay their loans.

On the other hand, he is "slightly more relaxed" about oversupply in the public sector because "I want to build up a little bit of an inventory to allow for people to, almost on demand, buy a flat".

Still, the current building pace is not sustainable and he expects the number of new HDB flats built to moderate after 2015.

"As we clear the backlog, we should be able to move back to a steady state, not necessarily even 15,000 units a year," he said.

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