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.
Hong Kong's economy has always been a global stand-out, rated the world's freest for 20 consecutive years in a ranking compiled by the US-based Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. However, with a drop in the score for corruption and increasing government control over land policies as well as factors limiting the flow of information, the gap to the others - notably Singapore - has narrowed further.Wednesday, 5 February, 2014, 4:13am 10 comments
The government has no intention of dropping property cooling measures as the risk of a property bubble remains high, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said on Monday.
At the meeting of the Legislative Council financial affairs panel, Tsang said Hong Kong’s economy was forecast to expand by three per cent this year, with inflation estimated at four per cent for the whole year.2 Dec 2013 - 2:00pm 2 comments
Housing officials are facing mounting pressure to scale back an anti-speculation measure that seeks to cool the market by taxing corporate property buyers more than private buyers.17 Sep 2013 - 7:26am 9 comments
Pleas by real estate agents for the Hong Kong government to relax its measures aimed at cooling down the property market are likely to fall on deaf ears until prices have fallen further, say analysts.21 Aug 2013 - 3:11am 1 comment
An alliance of property agents against the government's market-cooling measures said they hoped to collect 200,000 signatures in a month to urge withdrawal of the policies.7 Aug 2013 - 4:07am 9 comments
The government would neither relax nor withdraw its property-cooling measures as hot cash remained abundant in the global market, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying warned on his blog yesterday.
His comment came a day after Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah appealed on his blog to lawmakers to pass the bills for the property taxes that were introduced over the past few months.6 Aug 2013 - 3:36am 14 comments
Should first-time homebuyers be encouraged to enter the market now? For Joseph Tsang, managing director of property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle Hong Kong, the answer is a straightforward no. Not in the present climate.10 Jul 2013 - 2:43am 1 comment
Despite measures to cool the property market and help poor people since last July, housing remains a severe social problem for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's administration.8 Jul 2013 - 7:29am 1 comment
The Civic Party's Ronny Tong Ka-wah said he had written to the Legislative Council's constitutional affairs panel: "The issue raised questions about the confidentiality principle and [the] "one country, two systems" [policy]. I hope Leung and others will come to the panel and address our doubts."27 Mar 2013 - 6:02am 1 comment
It raised concerns that Leung could have breached the Executive Council's confidentiality rule and the principle of Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong, and that the information could have been leaked to investors.27 Mar 2013 - 7:22am 12 comments