SINGAPORE'S public housing boom for the year ended March saw almost 40,000 resale flats changing hands at a nine-year record, even as a home buyers booked the highest number of new flats in recent years.

The Housing Board's latest annual report, released on Thursday, showed 39,320 resale HDB flats sold from April 2009 to March this year - a 38 per cent jump from the previous financial year.

Total bookings for new flats was 13,200 for the year rose 34 per cent from the previous year.

The bulk of them - 9,140 units - were for new flats under HDB's built-to-order scheme. The rest were for condo-like flats under HDB's design, build and sell scheme (DBSS), and HDB's sale of leftover flats.

HDB chief executive Cheong Koon Hean said at a briefing on Wednesday that 2010 had been a 'special year for HDB' as it marks 50 years of public housing.

She noted that the record numbers in resale transactions and new flat bookings was due to a turnaround in the economic conditions in the second half of 2009, which accelerated housing demand.

'Demand rose and HDB responded quickly,' she said.

40,000 HDB resale flats sold