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Hong Kong stamp duty

Property Digest, March 13, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 May, 2015, 12:48pm

UK price index declines for a second month

An index of UK house prices fell for a second month in February as interest from potential buyers failed to rebound fully from a slump in January, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. A gauge by London-based RICS declined to minus 6 from minus 4 in January, it said in an e-mailed report yesterday, citing a monthly poll of property surveyors. While measures of new buyer inquiries and instructions from home sellers rose last month after heavy snow in January hit activity, they "disappointingly point to a levelling off" rather than a rebound, RICS said. While the February price index declined, RICS said lower mortgage interest rates were helping to support confidence in the market, with surveyors more upbeat on the outlook for prices and sales. "It's encouraging to see that the housing market now appears to be picking up across most parts of the UK despite ongoing concerns about the health of the economy," RICS director Peter Bolton King said. Bloomberg


NZ home prices hit record high

New Zealand house prices rose to a record high in February, with sales bounding higher after the summer holiday slowdown, the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) said. The REINZ's house price index rose 1.6 per cent from January, when they fell 1.0 per cent, to be 8.1 per cent higher than the same month last year. The index posted its first monthly rise in three months. The housing market has picked up, particularly in major cities, after being sluggish for much of 2011, with mortgage rates at multi-decade lows and a moderately improving economy. "Supply shortages in Auckland and Christchurch are the main constraint, resulting in double digit price increases in those regions," said REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan. The national median house sale price rose to NZ$382,000 (HK$2.44 million) from NZ$370,000 in the previous month. Reuters


Cooling measures deter speculators

The number of confirmor sales, or deals in which a property is resold before the original transaction is completed, remained low in the secondary home market with only four such sales last month, according to Centaline Property Agency. These transactions involved a total of HK$14.39 million, 58.2 per cent lower than HK$34.46 million in January, showing that the buyer's stamp duty and the expanded special stamp duty imposed in October had deterred speculative activities. Paggie Leung