The resale prices for public housing units in Singapore, which house more than 80 percent of the resident population, witnessed the first annual decline since 2005 by falling 0.6 percent in 2013, according to an index released on Friday.
The resale price index for public housing flats built by the Housing and Development Board and sold to the resident households fell 1.5 percent quarter on quarter to 201.7 in the fourth quarter of 2013, the Housing and Development Board said.
The number of resale transactions for 2013 as a whole also dropped 28 percent to 18,100, the lowest volume since 1997 when the board started keeping records.
The Housing and Development Board, charged with providing affordable public housing units to the resident population, will offer 24,300 build-to-order flats in 2014, with the first batch already launched earlier this week.
Residential property prices in Singapore rose quickly in the several years after 2008 as the economy rebounded from the downturn resulting from the global financial crisis.
The government has put in place several rounds of cooling measures covering both the public housing market and the relatively high-end market for residential properties built by private developers.
In the public housing sector, the government also significantly ramped up supplies over the past several years since 2011 by launching more than 20,000 units a year. The government has said recently that it will be adjusting the supply of public housing units as the resale prices for public housing units stabilized.
Statistics released on Friday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that the prices of private homes fell by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. It was the first decline since the first quarter of 2012.
For the whole year of 2013, prices of private residential properties increased by 1.1 percent, much lower than the 2.8- percent increase in 2012.
Private developers launched 2,631 uncompleted private residential units for sale in the fourth quarter, fewer than the 3, 313 units in previous quarter. For the year as a whole, developers launched 15,885 uncompleted units for sale.