Quantitative easing (QE) refers to large-scale asset purchases by the US Federal Reserve to inject liquidity in the world’s biggest economy after the onset of the global financial crisis in late 2008. In September 2012, stubbornly high US unemployment and faltering economic growth prompted it to launch QE3, under which it planned to buy US$40 billion worth of bonds per month, with no set end date. As of late 2012, it had bought some US$2.3 trillion in long-term securities. In December 2012 it announced it was increasing its purchases to US$85 billion a month.
Digest, October 10, 2012
‘Raise special stamp duty to cool market’
Macquaries Capital Securities has proposed three-step cooling measures for the property market. They The measures include more tightened credit access, a more severe special-stamp duty (SSD) and more relaxed presales requirements, according to its latest research report. The first of these three steps was announced by the government on September 14, 2012, the same day that QE3 was launched in the United States, the report said. Prior to that, the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had already outlined measures to boost supply on August 31 and to restrict foreign purchasers on September 7. “We believe the next step is to raise SSD, prolong its application duration and broaden its scope to include corporate purchasers in the primary market,” the report said. Property price growth was not likely to slow down by itself, in view of the quick clearance of new launches, it said. “We expect price growth of over two 2 per cent per month is sufficient to prompt the introduction of new SSD.” it said. Peggy Sito
September luxury sales at four-month high
Centaline Property Agency says there were 503 new and old luxury homes priced at HK$12 million or more were sold last month, at a total value price of HK$13.38 billion. “In terms of sales volume, it was the highest for the past four months,” said Wong Leung-sing, an associate director of research at Centaline Property Agency. The previous peak was in May, when there were 568 units in the same price category were sold at for a total value of HK$17.04 billion. Last month’s total sales volume was up 34.5 per cent on August. total sales volume last month represented a 34.5 per cent higher than 374 flats priced HK$12 million or more changed hands in August. For the three months to September, the total number of transactions for luxury flats reached 1,221 luxury flats were sold for with a total value of HK$33.85 billion. Sandy Li