Thailand's property market is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in late 2023, sooner than previously forecast, supported by an easing of housing loan regulations and a reopening to more foreign visitors, a property research centre said on Wednesday.
The central bank last month relaxed mortgage to help revive a key sector that accounts for about 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 2.8 million people, from the coronavirus-driven slump.
The sector had initially been forecast to return to normal in 2025-2027, but it could pick up sooner, the Real Estate Information Center (REIC), a unit of the Government Housing Bank, said in a statement.
"The easing of mortgages and the country's reopening will make the real estate business active again," said Vichai Viratkapan, acting chief of the centre.
New sold housing units are expected to fall by 35% to 43,051 units this year before doubling next year, he said.
The central bank earlier said the easing of rules would help increase mortgages by 50 billion baht per year.
However, Mr Vichai said that despite the mortgage-easing, banks are still cautious about lending to home buyers amid a weak economy, while the property sector faces higher costs and shortage of migrant workers due to the outbreak.
The government plans to reopen borders to workers from neighbouring countries to ease the shortage.
Earlier this week, the finance minister predicted the economy would grow 1% this year and 4% next year, following a 6.1% slump last year.