New property tax for non-local buyers


The Financial Secretary, John Tsang.
The government has announced 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.

Anyone who doesn't have permanent residency in Hong Kong will be required to pay the new Buyer's Stamp Duty; while anyone who sells a property within three years of buying it, will be taxed up to 20 percent.

The Financial Secretary, John Tsang, explained that there's been a recent surge in property prices, speculative activity, and in the numbers of non-residents buying flats here.

He said these extraordinary measures are necessary to curb demand for local property.

"The objective of the two new measures is to help alleviate the demand for housing by according priority, to meeting the needs of Hong Kong permanent residents under the exceptional circumstances of an overheated property market with supply shortage" Mr Tsang said.

Mr Tsang said with abundant liquidity from the United States' latest round of quantitative easing; and its pledge to keep ultra-low interest rates for another three years, the market now expects property prices to keep soaring. This, he said, is a serious threat to Hong Kong.

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