Hong Kong stamp duty
To rein in the city's runaway housing prices, Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah announced an additional 15 per cent stamp duty on non-permanent-resident and corporate buyers starting from October 27, 2012. The move prompted speculation over the effectiveness of taxation on the real estate market and criticisms that Hong Kong was turning away from its roots as a free market economy in favour of a more protectionist market environment.
Sales in second-hand property market double after stamp duty
Sales in Hong Kong's secondary market for 10 major private housing estates doubled to 17 transactions over the weekend, with most being first-time buyers, according to figures from Centaline Property Agency.
The figures come just days after the government unveiled a set of extra stamp duties aimed to cool the city's property market.
The number of transactions doubled from the previous weekend because many people had returned to the city after spending the Lunar New Year holiday abroad, the property agency said.
Midland Properties, however, recorded 15 transactions over the weekend – a15 per cent drop from the week before – suggesting a possible dampening of sentiment in the second-hand market from the new higher duties, RTHK reported on Monday.
The number of transactions recorded the weekend before the Lunar New Year was 50 per cent higher.
On Friday, the government announced a doubling of stamp duties on home and non-home residential properties valued at more than HK$2 million. Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said the extra duties were designed to “hit speculators only", not genuine home buyers.
First-time buyers, people who did not own other homes and those selling a flat and buying a new one within six months are exempted from the new rates.