Cooling measures set to be relaxed slightly

Posted: Jun 7 2014Last Updated: Jan 8 2016

14 May 2014 - Measures put in place last year to double stamp duties on all property transactions are set to be modified to provide home buyers more time in which to sell their existing units.

Under the current implementation, those exempted from the double stamp duty include first time buyers and those not in possession of another Hong Kong property at the time of purchase (as summarized here).

For those purchasers that the DSD applies to, the time of purchase is currently recorded as the point at which the provisional sales & purchase agreement is signed. This is set to be revised to the date of signing of the formal sales & purchase agreement, giving those who already own a property an extra 1-2 months to sell their current home.

The effect is to be magnified for those buying units under development, with the extended period adding up to a potential of 3 years. This will likely encourage uptake of newer units and prevent individuals from having to quickly sell their existing home and rent out another while waiting for the new build to be completed. 

The Standard reports that the amendment is intended to be passed by Legco by July this year.

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