Hong Kong may consider further curbs on foreign home purchases

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(Sept 4): Hong Kong could consider imposing further restrictions on home purchases by non-locals, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Responding to concerns foreigners could avoid a 30% stamp duty by using a trust to buy property, Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing Stanley Ying said transactions by non-locals and companies accounted for only 1.2% of total purchases in the first half.

“Government will keep on monitoring the situation, and will roll out measures when necessary without notice,” the journal cited Ying as saying.

Authorities are struggling to contain home prices in the city, which are the least-affordable in the world. There has been a series of curbs, including hefty stamp duties and lending restrictions in an attempt to rein in prices.

A gauge of 22 major Chinese developers, mostly traded in Hong Kong, extended declines Tuesday after yesterday falling 2.4%, the most in more than two weeks.

Ying’s response echoes Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who said in July that the government might reexamine measures to further restrict home sales to non-residents.