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  • Apr 17, 2014
  • Updated: 1:53am
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SURVEYS

Hongkongers want property curbs to continue or be strengthened, poll finds

Lawmakers' calls to drop taxes aimed at fighting speculation fail to win public support, poll finds

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 October, 2013, 3:00pm

Most people believe three taxes introduced to cool the property market should stay in place or be strengthened, a survey found, despite calls from lawmakers to make the measures "less spicy".

Three out of five people questioned by Chinese University's Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies believed there should be no exemptions to the special stamp duty, buyer's stamp duty and double stamp duty.

A further 14 per cent believed the cooling measures should be strengthened.

The survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.42 per cent.

The measures target purchases by companies and people who are not Hong Kong permanent residents, and aim to deter speculation.

But real estate and construction sector lawmaker Abraham Razack, who plans to "plug loopholes" by tabling two retrospective amendments to the bill, was undeterred by the findings.

"It is a matter of principle, not whose voice is louder," Razack said. "My amendments aim to restore flexibility to property ownership, which is a basic right of Hongkongers."

Buyers who are not permanent residents and companies must pay a special 15 per cent tax, on top of regular stamp duty.

One of Razack's amendments would see local corporate buyers refunded five years after their purchase, provided their shareholders had remained unchanged for three years. "If the government thinks public opinion is so important it should ensure the constitutional reform package follows the people's voices," Razack said, referring to controversy over the introduction of universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election.

The survey, which questioned 821 people between September 23 and 25, found between 40 and 50 per cent of respondents were against three proposed exemptions - for locally owned companies and charities, and for the sale of industrial properties.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Chan Kam-lam said the party would take public opinion into account when considering how to vote.

A survey by the University of Hong Kong, also released yesterday, found that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's popularity had bounced back to a level last seen in April.

The survey of 1,013 respondents found that Leung's rating on a scale of 0-100 increased 3.7 points to 49.4.

 

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layleng
CY Leung has been doing a reasonably good job for the people of Hong Kong. Let's review. He stopped the mainland sows from taking up our maternity beds, he stopped the mainland smugglers from stealing our milk powder and he's stemmed the property price gouging of the developers. Granted, Bowtie's National Education initiative was stopped in spite of him, he hasn't been able to overturn the State Council and NPC ruling granting rights to mainlanders born in HK and he is obviously toeing the CCP line on universal suffrage, but what could anyone else have been able to realistically achieve differently regarding the last three items?
What would Albert Ho have done? No one in Beijing is going to listen to Albert Ho. What would Henry Tang have achieved instead? Tang would have had us paying $20 million for a 500 s.f. flat and making nasal-toned jokes about it in his effeminate second-generation voice while he was enjoying a case of expensive wine with Rafael **** and Thomas Kwok in his basement hideaway. Not that CY deserves praise, but we should consider getting off his back and letting him do his job instead of making sniveling complaints about a leaking garbage dump and other such nonsense.
Will.I.Am
Another measure the government should introduce is the rampant rise in rentals perpetuated by property agent!
Because they are not able to sell much property, property agent have now been turning their attention to rentals by helping owners, shops and offices especially with higher rental so they earn good commission.
They're now so eager that months before the end of rental contract, they're already getting owners to sign exclusivity and promising 30,40,50% or even double the existing rental that they will get for you.
And they will worked the new clients who's looking for a place to rent or the existing client, telling you outrageous rental that others are signing and pressuring you to agree ASAP.
Just look at the doubling or tripling of rentals all over HK in the last 2 years. As the agent downstairs told me, he hardly sells anything now, doing rental is not something he likes but it's now a good source of income if he can keep pushing the rents up.
hkg101
This Abraham Razack clearly has personal interests and not the interests of the people. He should be quiet and disappear.
chuchu59
This Razack is uttering nonsense. The measures are put in place for the HK people so naturally the more they vouch for them the more these should stay in place. Whose principle? That of the property developers? This guy does not deserve to be in Legco.
caractacus
He is the Legco member for the Real Estate and Construction Sector functional constituency, so what do you expect him to do? The property developers, like almost all the functional constituencies, do not deserve a seat in Legco.
The administration is so cowardly and so many Exco members are intertwined with these dogs, Govt. will not dare introduce rent controls and re-introduce security of tenure for tenants.
chuchu59
As a Legco member where there is a conflict of interest between his functional constituency and that of the majority of HK people he should choose the latter. This is so similar to Lau Wong fat who safeguards the interests of HYK against the majority of HK people.
chuchu59
As a Legco member where there is a conflict of interest between his functional constituency and that of the majority of HK people he should choose the latter. This is so similar to Lau
chuchu59
As a Legco member where there is a conflict of interest between his functional constituency and that of the majority of HK people he should choose the latter. This is so similar to Lau
EHI
"Most people believe three taxes introduced to cool the property market should stay in place or be strengthened, a survey found, despite calls from lawmakers to make the measures "less spicy"."
Where is the said survey? Link please.
maecheung
This is a Farce! I mean Abraham Razack, he doesn't have the interest of all Hongkongers in mind! How many of these lawmakers have multiple properties, either under their names or corporation?

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