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.
Q & A with our experts, April 17, 2013
Q: I'm an expatriate from Europe. I plan to buy a flat in the Hong Kong Parkview estate for my own use. It will cost about HK$19 million. How much stamp duty do I need to pay and are there any other new rules I should be aware of?
A: You will have to pay a stamp duty of 7.5 per cent. You also will have to pay buyer's stamp duty on top of the regular stamp duty, which is charged at a flat rate of 15 per cent. That's means you will have to pay a total levy of nearly HK$4.28 million.
You will also be subject to special stamp duty if you sell within three years: if you resell your flat within six months of its purchase you will have to pay 20 per cent of the selling price; if you hold the flat for more than six months but less than 12 months, the rate is 15 per cent; if you sell your flat after more than 12 months but less than three years, you will have to pay duty at a rate of 10 per cent.
Eric Cheung is a director at Ricacorp Properties
Q: I have a budget of HK$6 million and plan to buy a three-bedroomed flat or a flat with two large bedrooms. Do you have any suggestions?
A: You could consider the three-bedroomed flats at City One Shatin or Yoho Town in Yuen Long. You could also consider the three-bedroomed flats at Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai or Belvedere Garden in Tseun Wan.
If you are looking for a newer housing estate you could buy two-bedroomed flats at The Palazzo in Fo Tan. But flat prices at City One Shatin and Yoho Town have a higher upside potential.
Sammy Po is a director at Midland Realty
Q: I have owned two flats at Ocean Shore in Tseung Kwan O for leasing for many years. Since I bought them, many new residential sites in the district have been sold. When will the new projects be released on the market? I worry this will put downward pressure on my flats. Should I sell this year?
A: It is true that many sites in Tseung Kwan O have been sold in recent years. But many have restrictions on the sizes of flat that can be built. And land supply remains low while housing demand is strong.
As there is no new housing supply in East Kowloon and Island East, the new residential projects usually record strong sales. The demand for flats in Tseung Kwan O is very strong.
If you are in a sound financial position you should keep your flats for long-term investment. I don't think property prices will drop by more than 10 per cent, as interest rates are low and housing demand remains strong.
Kent Chui is a director at Ricacorp Properties