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.


Sale of hotel rooms shows the limits of government intervention

Property agents and buyers gather at the sales office of Apex Horizon hotel in Hung Hom as Cheung Kong Holdings sells more unit of the hotel. Photo: David Wong

It comes down to supply and demand. The hefty 15 per cent stamp duty imposed on non-local buyers, which was put in place last year to curb speculation, has discouraged a number of buyers. But no government can outlaw intentions.

Thursday, 7 May, 2015, 12:48pm

Demand for flats falls by half in wake of stamp duty rises

Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, Executive Council member and chairman of Urban Renewal Authority. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Developers hoping to complete sales programmes looked for ways to fight the impact of sharp increases in stamp duties. They increased the commission for agents - some of whom were passing on the increase to buyers to make up for the extra duty they will pay.

7 May 2015 - 12:48pm 8 comments

Home prices expected to fall 5pc next month as stamp duty doubled

An estate agent revises the price of a Tai Koo property listing downward after new measures to curb home prices were announced yesterday. Photo: Sam Tsang

Home prices are expected to fall 5 per cent and sales volume plunge by half next month in response to the government's doubling of the stamp duty for those who buy second homes worth more than HK$2 million. Centaline Property managing director Louis Chan Wing-kit said owners of flats worth more than HK$5 million would be hit hardest by the sharp increase in the stamp duty.

7 May 2015 - 12:48pm 4 comments

Buyers rush to avoid new property taxes at midnight

Financial Secretary John Tsang announced stamp duty rates for property purchases would be raised from Saturday. Photo: AP

A developer last night brought forward the sale of flats to beat the introduction at midnight of the latest round of government cooling measures that were announced on Friday.

11 Jun 2015 - 4:03pm

Does adding children's names to the deeds of a Hong Kong flat involve any duty or tax?

Does adding children's names to the deeds of a Hong Kong flat involve any duty or tax?

My husband and I have owned our flat here for more than 35 years. For succession planning, we would like to add the names of our two children (living and working abroad) to the title deeds of the property. Would this involve any duty or tax at any stage and, if so, would it be wise to do it in the current financial climate? We are about to start making our wills.

7 May 2015 - 12:48pm

Hotel scheme holds high risks for buyers who saved on stamp duty

The Apex Horizon in Kwai Chung. Photo: SCMP

Buyers of units in the Apex Horizon hotel may risk financial burdens despite avoiding stamp duties by making the controversial purchase, property experts warn. This week property giant Cheung Kong sold 360 units at the hotel in Kwai Chung, which opened in 2009. The units are classified as commercial properties so buyers escape the extra stamp duties imposed on residential property transactions last year. In October the government imposed a buyer's stamp duty of 15 per cent of the purchase price of homes, payable by all non-permanent-resident buyers and those buying houses or flats through companies, in addition to the standard stamp duty of up to 4.25 per cent.

22 Feb 2013 - 4:24am 2 comments

Sale of hotel units another housing headache for Leung Chun-ying

The Apex Horizon hotel in Kwai Chung. Photo: Sam Tsang

Property giant Cheung Kong's selling of 360 units in the Apex Horizon hotel in Kwai Chung has stirred up public anger and political and legal interest. The issue is the unfairness of the exemption from heavy stamp duties on buyers and quick resellers, which are aimed at cooling the red-hot market. Instead, the hotel sales are deemed commercial transactions.

7 May 2015 - 12:48pm 2 comments

Probe launched on sales in Apex hotel over stamp duty

The Apex Horizon development at Kwai Chung. Photo: Sam Tsang

The Lands Departments is investigating whether property giant Cheung Kong has violated land lease regulations by selling units at a suite hotel.

Buyers do not have to pay stamp duties when buying commercial property.

19 Feb 2013 - 8:47am

Stamp duty keeping non-locals out of property market

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

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.

16 Feb 2013 - 8:48am 4 comments

Solicitors, commerce chamber seeks exemptions to proposed stamp duty

Kristy Boazman

Solicitors and a foreign business chamber have expressed concern about a planned 15 per cent stamp duty on non-local and corporate property buyers, while another chamber has endorsed it.

The Law Society and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong both called for exemption for companies controlled by permanent residents, who, as individual buyers, are exempted from the tax.

15 Feb 2013 - 3:50am 1 comment

No holiday for property agents as flats snapped up

Sun Hung Kai Properties agents get down to serious business at the launch of Residence 88 in Yuen Long. Photo: Edward Wong

Sun Hung Kai Properties, which launched Residence 88 in Yuen Long on Wednesday, said the project attracted a keen response. The developer expected about 100 flats to be sold by the end of the night.

14 Feb 2013 - 5:05am

Hong Kong home sales spike as locals jump in to buy

Residential blocks are reflected on the glass panes of a business tower in North Point. Photo: Reuters

Home sales rebounded sharply last month, driven by local buyers unaffected by the government's new stamp duty provisions targeting overseas and corporate investors.

Fuelled by excess liquidity and low interest rates, agents say the sales momentum will extend to next month as residential transactions continue to grow.

5 Feb 2013 - 7:31am

Land sales and stamp duty push up city's revenue

John Tsang Chun-Wah, Hong Kong's financial secretary. Photo: Bloomberg

On his blog yesterday, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said he was always being asked by friends whether he intentionally underestimated revenue to restrict growth in government expenditure.

7 May 2015 - 12:48pm 1 comment

Fears of more intervention as home sales rebound

Home sales have improved in the primary and secondary markets, despite government curbs. Photo: AFP

Sales and prices have improved despite a decline in demand from mainland and corporate buyers, whose purchases have slowed since the authorities introduced taxes aimed at non-local and corporate buyers late last year.

4 Feb 2013 - 4:16am

Call to leave local-owned companies out of 15pc tax

Developers have made a counter-proposal to the government over a new property tax, suggesting that small companies with no more than five shareholders - who must all be locals - should be exempted from paying a 15 per cent duty.

1 Feb 2013 - 4:09am 2 comments