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Property slowdown looms over Thai market

The Thai cabinet has approved last week cutting both housing transfer and mortgage fees to 0.01% for 12 months

Olivier Languepin

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Some developing economies from Thailand to Dubai and Brazil are facing double-digit real estate sales declines on the back of weakening domestic growth, says Bloomberg.

The Thai cabinet has approved last week cutting both housing transfer and mortgage fees to 0.01% for 12 months, aiming to spur buying.

The fee cuts from 2% and 1%, respectively, will come into force after publication in the Royal Gazette and will run until May 31, 2020.

Last month, the cabinet approved offering tax deductions of up to 200,000 baht for buyers of homes and condos worth up to 5 million baht. The measure is part of new stimulus measures worth 21.83 billion baht.

But critics said the previous measure to offer tax deductions of up to 200,000 baht for buyers of homes and condos worth up to 5 million baht would have a minimal impact on the market.

Stricter mortgage-lending rules

The Bank of Thailand issued plans last October to impose stricter mortgage-lending rules in 2019 as the officials saw a frothy housing market ahead.

Colliers International said in a fourth-quarter report that it sees new condominiums falling by 24 per cent this year as unsold properties pile up, while Bloomberg Economics sees Chinese investor interest keeping a floor under demand.

Ballooning unsold inventory

A total of 454,814 residential units across the country were left unsold last year, with a total value of US$ 41 billion, according to Sopon Pornchokchai, president of the Agency for Real Estate Affairs.

The supplies in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region constituted 40% of the total units available and 55% of the total value.

These supplies included detached houses, semi-detached hoses, townhouses, shophouses, condominiums (owner-occupied apartments) and residential land subdivision catered by formal private housing developers in Thailand.

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