Xinhua recently reported that the Hong Kong government just extended the real estate stamp duty for another three years. It also added a 15 percent duty for buyers, which will apply to local businesses and to non-residents. According to the Hong Kong government, the new requirement will help lower the cost that local permanent residents have to pay to purchase real estate. Another goal of the new policy is to place a more substantial restraint on the recent speculation in the housing market. Large outside capital has been targeting Hong Kong real estate. However, the government suggested that this new tax is a temporary measure designed to reduce the number of external buyers. Eventually the policy will expire. The background of this recent change in real estate policy is the loss of balance between demand and supply. The influx of capital has resulted in a sharp increase on the demand side of the housing market. If the new policy is not strong enough to improve stability, the government is determined to do more.
Source: Xinhua, October 26, 2012