Recovery of Thai property sector delayed amid Omicron, says state lending agency

BANGKOK, Feb 20 (Reuters): Thailand’s property market may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, due to a slower-than-expected economic recovery amid a novel coronavirus outbreak and a higher inflation, the research unit of a state housing lender announced.

In November, the research center forecast the property market would normalize in 2023 following an easing of mortgage rules to revive a key sector that accounts for around 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 2.8 million of people.

But the Covid-19 outbreak caused by the Omicron variant that emerged late last year has slowed domestic activity, said Vichai Viratkapan, head of Government Housing’s property information center. Bank.

“Rising inflation also has an impact on people’s incomes and purchasing power,” he said. Inflation hit a nine-month high of 3.23% in January.

However, the real estate sector has bottomed out and should be supported by the relaxed rules and government measures, he said, adding that the number of newly built houses and apartments is expected to increase by 35% to 105,000. This year.

But demand from overseas buyers will remain weak this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, he said. -Reuter

Bernadine J. Perkins