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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.


The government has announced earlier a new 15 percent property tax for all non-local buyers, and it will also increase an existing tax aimed at curbing short-term property speculation. Photo: Sam Tsang

Stamp duty keeping non-locals out of property market

While observers believe it is too early to say for sure if the cooling effect was short-lived, they argue that locals buying through firms should be exempted from the tax, as figures show few speculators use companies to evade tax.