• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:12pm
NewsHong Kong

Property price curbs here to stay, says Leung Chun-ying

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 October, 2013, 2:33pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 October, 2013, 4:28pm

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Tuesday said again that property market cooling measures would be maintained and no exemptions would be made for certain groups of buyers in order to maintain market stability.

The Leung government last October introduced the measures – a special stamp duty and a 15 per cent duty on overseas and corporate buyers on top of stamp duty – to curb speculation.

Legislators are now debating the two bills on the cooling measures, which have not yet been passed into law by the Legislative Council. But the taxes have already taken effect.

[The weekend buyers' queue] tells us that if the government adjusts ... or even scraps the measures, the property market will return to its status before their introduction
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying

Leung, who was not taking part in the Legco debate, noted on Tuesday that transactions of second-hand flats had reached a four-month high over the past long weekend and some developers had offered rebates to wipe out the effects of the government’s cooling measures.

Leung also cited media reports that up to a thousand buyers at the weekend had queued up to buy flats at a luxury project in Kowloon, with close to 20 per cent of them coming from the mainland.

“This tells us that if the government adjusts or reduces the magnitude of the measures, or even scraps them, the property market will return to its status before their introduction,” he said.

“This is something we do not want to see,” Leung said, speaking before attending an Executive Council meeting.

He also said there were many prospective flat buyers who were willing to purchase when developers and flat sellers to cut their prices.

On Monday, an economist from Lingnan University, Ho Lok-sing, warned the measures could lead to a serious deficit for the government in the next financial year because it could slash one of its main income sources that is the stamp duty on property sales.

Ho said at a seminar held by a pro-free-market think-tank that the measures could shake the confidence of potential property buyers and foreign investors that might have a snowball effect in areas beyond the property market.



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This article is now closed to comments

There is really no way to prevent "the rich squeezing out the poor" in this rich and tiny place - HK. And the rich are fighting among themselves for more room at the Peak ! There is no boundaries / borders for the rich ! This problem could not be solved unless HK could no longer attract the rich.
The rich including individual and corporation are attracted to Hong Kong. High rent or property cost will not deter them since they can be written off as business expanse or easily recover with ever escalating property value. If labor cost is low it is an added bonus to have a business and a home too. Hong Kong is haven to those who has money and cashflow because there will be more and much more money to be had than any other places in the world.
The rule of law that well structured for conducting business ONLY also is a tremendous help.
At the end, Hong Kong is a city of increasing rich and poor divide with the rich – local or foreign hording what can be extracted from Hong Kong and its poor.
I don’t think Hong Kong is a world city. It is not even a modern city. It is so primitive intellectually. It has taken more than 20 years after other countries to have minimum wage. And there is still no time limit on working hours anytime soon.
Excellent, CY. Keep going. Start taxing empty properties owned not only by developers but individual owners too.
Stand your ground CY!
Vacancy Tax Now!
What if the landlord can't get a tenant?
Why don't you make some suggestions to make vacancy tax workable.
well done CY. finally someone who stands up against the prop developers & tycoons. we can see the presdure being ratched up by these groups via self serving law makers or newspapers. stay the course CY.
The building and selling of luxury housing since the last administration has had priced out the locals. The heavy taxes measure taken by CY Leung is just and right to protect local citizens from runaway prices on property which caused by speculation by outsiders. I am alarmed that there are 20% of mainland buyers in the most recent property sale but not surprised those mainlanders still buying properties in Hong Kong. Even with tax added they are still low comparing what they must pay in Beijing and Shanghai or more drastically the restriction buying law. Whether these mainland buyers are buying the property for self-use or for speculation, the current added tax measures must be further fortified.
I propose that the special stamp duty and the 15 per cent duty on overseas and corporate buyers be indexed against the property market in Beijing and Shanghai. Furthermore, all local buyers must show origin of source of payment on property.
What remains the skewed market may continue by property developers in holding properties off from the current market. We shall see what CY Leung must do next to free up those properties for local use. Sure, when the free market breaks down WE must intervene. Let us support CY Leung's intervention.
" all local buyers must show origin of source of payment on property."........Excellent suggestion! Hope the Government will take it up!
"What remains the skewed market may continue by property developers in holding properties off from the current market."........Introduce a Vacancy Tax.


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