Capital Gains Tax

Developers to benefit from capital gains tax

Homebuyers to shift attention to primary market with levy on secondary sales

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 April, 2013, 3:43am

Mainland developers are expected to benefit from the 20 per cent capital gains tax on second-hand homes, which has been in force since the beginning of this month.

Homebuyers would now tend to turn to the primary market, property consultants said.

With fewer owners willing to offer their units for sale in the secondary market, homebuyers would have to go for new flats, said Albert Lau, the managing director of Savills China.

Lau remained upbeat about the market outlook, saying stable demand for housing would support home prices in the long run.

In the first quarter, 14 developers each took in more than 10 billion yuan (HK$12.5 billion) in property sales, according to SouFun, the mainland's biggest property information website.

China Vanke topped the sales chart with 41 billion yuan, up 42 per cent from last year's first quarter and was followed by China Overseas Land & Investment's 38.3 billion yuan (up 89 per cent) and Poly Real Estate's 31 billion yuan (up 109 per cent).

But analysts said the latest round of cooling measures directed by the State Council would not kill the market, since sales would be sustained by solid demand.

"[Sales] volume should remain strong for the next six to nine months, as local governments' policies remain vague and show no sign of tightening further," said Lee Wee Liat, the head of property research at BNP Paribas Securities (Asia).

More than 20 cities have announced details of their implementation of the measures. Local governments have had different responses to the 20 per cent capital gains tax on secondary sales, a key measure in the latest round. While Beijing and Shanghai announced plans to impose a 20 per cent capital gains tax on second-hand property deals, Shenzhen, Hefei and Jinan did not mention a capital gains tax specifically.

Lee expects this to be another record year for top developers such as China Overseas Land, Shimao Property and Longfor Properties.

Alfred Lau, a property analyst at Bocom International, said most mainland developers had locked in 30 to 40 per cent of their sales targets to be booked next year but presold this year.

"They still have nine months to go, and they have enough time to reach the remaining 60 per cent of their sales targets," he said.