Hong Kong says it held no discussions on relaxing property stamp duty

Foreign buyers of residential property need to pay a 30 per cent levy on all purchases. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG  (REUTERS) - Hong Kong’s government said on Tuesday (Aug 9) it had no plans to relax its stamp duty on property, responding to media reports that it could consider waiving the extra stamp duty that mainland Chinese have to pay to buy property in the city.

“(The government) clearly states that there are no relevant plans,” a spokesman for the Financial Secretary’s Office said in a statement.

Shares of Hong Kong property developers fell back from highs after government’s clarification. New World Development Co was still up 3.3 per cent, but had risen by as much at 6.1 per cent in the morning.

Sun Hung Kai Properties was up 2.6 per cent, while CK Asset Holdings and Henderson Land Development both gained over 1 per cent.

Regina Ip, convenor of the government’s advisory Executive Council told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday morning Hong Kong may consider waiving extra stamp duty on homes for mainland Chinese buyers as a way to shore up the economy and reverse a brain drain.

She later clarified to Commercial Radio Hong Kong it was a suggestion from her New People’s Party, which would be raised to the government during the consultation period for the policy address.

Whereas permanent residents pay stamp duty of up to 4.25 per cent on buying their first home, foreign buyers, including those from mainland China, have to pay a total of 30 per cent.

Hong Kong earlier this year was ranked by survey company Demographia as the world’s most unaffordable housing market for the 12th consecutive year.

Hong Kong private home prices fell at a faster pace in June and dropped to the lowest since December 2020, as homebuyers stayed on the sidelines due to an uncertain outlook and rising interest rates.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.