Tsang promises fair property market
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen promised yesterday to address the problem of unfairness and lack of transparency in property transactions following the controversy surrounding the sale of luxury flats at 39 Conduit Road.
The chief executive said the government was already studying the possibility of introducing legislation to step up regulation of sales of uncompleted flats and the scope for the legislation if nine measures announced in April to increase transparency in flat sales proved ineffective.
Speaking at the Legislative Council's question-and-answer session, Tsang reiterated that the government would not tolerate any forged property transactions aimed at propping up the market.
Responding to Democratic Party lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming's call for tightened regulation of flat sales, Tsang said: 'I will use the opportunity [arising from the 39 Conduit Road saga] to resolve the problem of unfairness and lack of transparency in property transactions.' There have been growing calls for laws to tighten regulation of sales of uncompleted residential flats after the high-priced sales of 20 luxury flats at 39 Conduit Road trumpeted by the developer, Henderson Land, fell through last month.
'I have never said we won't introduce legislation,' Tsang said. 'We are already studying the possibility of introducing such legislation and its scope if existing measures prove to be ineffective.'
In April, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah announced nine measures to increase transparency of flat sales, including a requirement that developers publish price lists three days before flats go up for sale.
The chief executive did not say whether he would announce new legislation to step up regulation of flat sales in his October policy address. 'If there is an urgent need [for legislation], we won't have to wait until October,' he said.
But administrative measures were effective as there were only a few dozen property developers in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Legco is scheduled to vote today on the financial secretary's proposal to increase stamp duty on properties sold for over HK$20 million from 3.75 per cent to 4.25 per cent.
Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun will move an amendment for extra stamp duty of 2 per cent on confirmor transactions exceeding HK$20 million. Confirmors buy a property and sell it before a purchase is officially completed.