• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 6:24pm
NewsHong Kong

Leung Chun-ying defends property price curbs

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 September, 2013, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 September, 2013, 5:30pm

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying appealed to legislators and the public to support property market cooling measures on Tuesday after the proposals were tabled in the Legislative Council in Admiralty on Monday.

Speaking before an Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, Leung said the measures had been effective in curbing flat prices amid heated market sentiments in recent months.

If the government had not stood firm on the cooling measures, I am afraid that property prices would have followed the surges seen in the stock market
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying

“If the government had not stood firm on the cooling measures, I am afraid that property prices would have followed the surges seen in the stock market,” he said.

“This would have have helped the stability of the financial system and the affordability of flats,” he said.

Leung said that therefore his government would retain the curbs in order to stabilise the property market, urging lawmakers and the community to support them.

The cooling measures introduced last October are a 15 per cent “buyer’s stamp duty” levied on foreign and corporate buyers of residential flats, a “special stamp duty” against the resale of flats within 36 months, adjusted from 24 months, and a “double stamp duty” levied on all buyers of residential and non-residential properties, except Hong Kong permanent residents who don’t already own a flat.

The taxes have already taken effect, although the Legislative Council only started its scrutiny of the relevant bills on Monday.

There have been calls to exempt certain kinds of buyers – such as charity groups and companies set up by Hong Kong permanent residents – from the new buyer’s stamp. But Leung has refused to offer exemptions, arguing that exemptions would only weaken the measures.



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This article is now closed to comments

Just hope the lawmakers are really for the ordinary Hong Kong people and support the 'cooling measures' instead of stalling it or water it down. If anything, they should strengthen it to have double stamp duty on the 3rd and subsequent flats by any individual and company.
The Lawmakers must not bow to a minority of special interests to tear apart the bill.
Charities should not be in the business of buying properties anyway. This is solely a method for the big cats of Hong Kong to slowly break down the policy. They will say "oh it is just charities" they do good things. But they are not actually thinking about charities as I do not believe charities are lining up to buy premises. (I am sure thought they will find 12 to do so).
Also charities have a big range. People will start charities that are really just private investment clubs.
Also companies buying property. If this is lifted then everyone will start creating companies. especially people with 1 flat will go and create a company to buy others without having to pay the double stamp duty.
If the government gives in and lawmakers working for special interests start to make holes in the policy then that is the end of HK. Prices will climb 40% and then drop 60% which will push us into an economic crisis.
HK People First!!!!
I feel entertained on watching the property tycoons whining about on the curbs. (smiling)
two problems - maybe the stock market surge is caused by them sitting on property prices ....and..
statistically the majority of ordinary hong kong people benefit from rising prices.


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