Measures may not be sufficient
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Measures may not be sufficient

The government's property measures may not stimulate the residential market as much as expected because obstacles to home demand and purchasing power, particularly for units priced below 3 million baht, remain unchanged.

Atip Bijanonda, honorary president of the Housing Business Association, said the property market this year could experience a decline of up to 10% or a modest growth of 5%, despite the measures.

"One of the main obstacles is the high mortgage rejection rate, which continues to hinder home purchases," he said. "Loan-to-value limit is another issue obstructing home demand."

He said the Bank of Thailand should not be concerned about home speculation as the economic environment does not support such speculation, unlike several years ago.

Prasert Taedullayasatit, president of the Thai Condominium Association, said the relaxation of lending curbs could help boost housing demand.

He said each time such measures were implemented, the market saw a growth in housing transfers.

"The lending curbs should also apply to the third mortgage application onwards, as today it's common practices for people to buy two units -- one as a main home and the other for their children," he said.

Mr Atip said the purchasing power of local buyers remained weak, while foreign demand, particularly from the Chinese market, has not rebounded as anticipated due to their own economic issues.

To help the lower-income segment own a home and encourage banks to lend more, the government should establish a mortgage fund and a mortgage corporation.

"This scheme can ease banks' concerns and increase the availability of loans for homebuyers," he said.

Mr Atip said there should also be mortgage insurance to help buyers secure home loans more easily.

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