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.
Home buyers down after Hong Kong stamp duty rise
Sales of existing homes continued to fall over the weekend, as prospective buyers stayed on the sidelines after the government doubled stamp duties just over a week ago.
The number of sales of existing homes in 15 benchmark residential estates dropped by nearly a fifth to 9 during the weekend from the previous weekend, the agency Midland Holdings said. Vincent Chan Kwan-hing, chief executive of the agency's residential department, said 11 estates recorded zero transactions over the weekend, and the majority of buyers were end-users.
Those who do not already own a home and those selling their only flat and buying a new one within six months are exempted from the duty rise.
"Sales launches at new property projects also diverted some purchasing power," Chan said. The government's resumption of quarterly land sales has further encouraged would-be buyers to stay on the sidelines, he said.
Property agents said Henderson Land Development and New World Development sold 28 apartments out of 108 units launched by 8pm yesterday at their joint development The Reach, the largest residential property development in Yuen Long. They were sold at an average price of HK$7,400 per square foot of gross floor area.
Some 20 flats were sold in the previous weekend, in the 2,580-apartment project first offered for sale last October.
Marco Chu Tat-keung, a senior sales manager at Hong Kong Property Services (Agency), said: "The result was not bad because of good pricing, I expect the total sales to exceed 30 units by the end of the day."
Some 10 units were sold at Sun Hung Kai Properties' Residence 88, also in Yuen Long, over the weekend, market sources said, down from 20 units the previous weekend.