|(Update) Extra stamp duties imposed to rein in home price surge
A fresh round of measures to curb property prices will take effecto from tomorrow, the Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said today.
Despite a series of measures, including the special stamp duties introduced in 2010 to curb short-term speculation, home prices have surged amid an economic downturn, Tsang said.
"The property market is going aginst the economic fundamentals," Tsang said.
A new stamp duty will be imposed on non-permanent residents, after transactions by these buyers surged over the last few years.
Transactions by foreign investors accounted for 19.5 percent of deals thus far, compared with 13.7 percent in 2011 and 5.1 percent in 2010.
Home buyers without permanent residency, or those who purchase through a company, will have to pay a stamp duty at 15 percent of the home price.
Meanwhile, the existing special stamp duty will be modified, Tsang said.
A 20 percent levy will apply to flats sold within six months or less, while 15 percent will apply to those sold after six months but within a year of purchase. A 10 percent stamp duty will apply to apartments sold after a year but within 36 months of a deal.
This means that a non-resident buying a flat in Hong Kong and reselling it within 6 months, will incur a special stamp duty of 20 percent plus another of 15 percent.
Tsang said it was necessary to manage the supply-demand gap in local property market.
"Home prices have grown rapidly despite the economic slowdown," Tsang told reporters. "The risk of a property bubble is growing."