Singapore's residential property prices are showing signs of moderating, according to latest statistics released by local authorities on Thursday.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority said in its flash estimates that the private residential property index, which gauges the movements of prices for residential properties built by private developers rather than the government, fell by 1.8 points to 214.5 points in the fourth quarter.
This represents a decline of 0.8 percent, compared to the 0.4 percent increase in the previous quarter.
The full-year growth for 2013 was 1.2 percent, compared with the 2.8 percent increase reported in 2012.
Excluding executive condominiums, an estimated 14,950 new such homes were snapped up in the first 11 months of the year. With the last month of a year traditionally quiet for the property market, the total sales are likely to be much lower than the 22,197 new homes sold in 2012.
The Straits Times quoted experts as saying that the full-year sales had been tipped to be about 15,000 units for the year.
The Singapore authorities put in place several rounds of measures to cool the property market since the housing prices rebounded along with the recovery of the economy in the aftermath of the global economic downturn.
In January 2012 the government implemented extra duties for certain groups of buyers, including a duty of 5 percent on permanent residents buying their first home and a 7 percent duty on Singaporeans purchasing their second property.
The rules of loans were also tightened in June to make sure home-buyers will be more prudent.
Some of the analysts said that they expect even fewer homes to sold and prices to be flat in 2014 as the impact of the measures was still there.
Meanwhile, the resale prices of public housing flats built and sold by the Housing and Development Board fell 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter. It was the second consecutive quarter of declining public housing prices, following a decline of 0.9 percent.
The market for homes built and sold by private developers is typically high-end apartments and landed properties. They account for about a quarter of the housing units in Singapore.
About 80 percent of the resident population in Singapore live in public housing units built by the government and sold to qualified resident household buyers with a discount.
The government ramped up the supply of such public housing units significantly since around 2011 to curb the rising prices.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the resale prices for public housing units have been stabilizing.
The Housing and Development Board said it will offer 24,300 built-to-order flats this year.
It will reduce the supply of 3-room and larger flats by 18 percent to 18,600 units this year. The number of public housing flats with one bedroom, however, will be increased.