H. Kong lefts property curbs to revive market

Hong Kong announced significant measures to boost its struggling real estate market by eliminating all tightening measures for residential properties, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The city will cancel additional stamp duties on transactions and waive stamp duties on the transfer of real estate investment trust (REIT) units, according to Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan in his annual budget.

Chan also announced a mix of measures to attract capital, businesses, and visitors to the city, as well as restore fiscal balance. The measures include scrapping demand-side management measures for residential properties and adjusting property mortgage loan measures.

He further stated that these measures are no longer necessary given the current economic and market conditions.

Additionally, there are plans to further adjust measures for the real estate sector, including cutting additional stamp duties for foreign buyers and those purchasing second properties, as well as for those selling flats within two years of purchase.

These measures were initially imposed in the past decade to cool one of the world’s most expensive property markets.

The government will roll out over HK$1 billion in support measures for the tourism industry. The city will stage more than 80 “mega events” in the first half of the year to boost tourism.

The economy expanded by a sluggish 3.2 per cent in 2023, and the government aims to narrow its fiscal deficit progressively. The city aims to support its economy, which is expected to grow at a tepid 2.5-3.5 per cent this year.

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