The Straits Times
Published on Oct 26, 2012

Hong Kong to launch new property market cooling measures


HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Hong Kong's financial secretary today said a fresh round of property cooling measures would be launched given what he said was a decoupling of prices with the economy, and a continued rise in property prices despite previous measures.

Financial secretary John Tsang said stamp duties would be increased for those seeking to sell properties soon after buying them to dampen the interest of short-term investors, along with a new stamp duty for non-permanent residents.

Mr Tsang said these were exceptional measures implemented at an exceptional time after saying the property market was "going against the economic fundamentals of Hong Kong".

The government had previously pledged to roll out further measures to moderate the city's red-hot property market as home prices rose about 20 per cent in the first nine months of this year to record levels beyond the reach of many residents. Previous initiatives by the government seem to have failed to halt the rise.