Flats slump leaves a stamp

Business | Kate Lin 12 Feb 2016

Revenue from stamp duties plunged to a historic low last month, data from the Inland Revenue Department showed yesterday, reflecting the sluggish state of the property market.

The department received HK$205 million in stamp-duty payments from buyers in 98 deals, down 54 percent and 60 percent, respectively, from December. Both the volume and number of deals fell to their lowest levels since the tax was imposed in March 2014.

Total double stamp duties and special stamp duties paid also hit fresh lows.

The double stamp duty, imposed on those who are not buying their first property slid 45 percent to 1,763 transactions last month, while special stamp duties recorded a 30-percent drop to only 30 deals the lowest since November 2014.

Meanwhile, developers accelerated home sales to give more choices at the start of the Year of the Monkey.

After a lukewarm response in new property sales during the four-day holiday, Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) said its project Twin Regency will be put on sale next week.

The Yuen Long property, which consists of 523 units in two blocks, will be priced in reference to other new projects in the vicinity, general sales manager Amy Teo said.

To target starters, Twin Regency provides studio, one-, two- and three- bedroom flats of between 299 and 737 square feet.

Teo is confident of the quality of Twin Regency and believes sales will not be affected by the recent market correction.

The management fee will be less than HK$4 per sellable square feet.

The project is slated to be completed by July next year.

Also yesterday, another large local developer, New World Development (0017), said it plans to launch seven residential projects, or about 2,900 units, during the year.

Mount Pavilia in Clear Water Bay is likely to be the first new project the group will sell after the holidays.

The 680-unit project ranks as the largest low-density home development in the neighborhood.

As for actual sales, a 498-sq-ft home in Grand Promenade on Hong Kong Island changed hands after its asking price was slashed by HK$1.5 million. It sold for HK$6.5 million or HK$13,052 pssf. The seller bought the flat 12 years ago for HK$3.24 million.

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