SEJONG-- The growth of housing construction in South Korea is expected to decelerate sharply next year, a state-run think tank said Thursday.

According to the Korea Development Institute, the country's housing construction for 2017 is likely to grow by 15.5 percent, but the expansion rate will slow to between 1.3 percent and 2.9 percent next year.

The institute said the housing construction sector's contribution to overall economic growth will consequently weaken to between 0.1 percentage point and 0.2 percentage point next year, from 1 percentage point in 2016 and 0.7 percentage point in 2015.

Last year, the country's economy expanded 2.8 percent following a 2.8 percent gain in 2015. For this year, the economy is expected to grow 3 percent, and its growth rate will be around the same level next year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency