Hong Kong introduces new 15% stamp duty

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Stamp duty in Hong Kong raised to 15%

Last year, Singapore introduced a 10% additional stamp duty for foreign buyers to pacify its property market.

And now Hong Kong has slapped a 15% stamp duty on foreign investors hoping for the same effect.

The move has sparked concern that other countries popular with foreign buyers could follow suit in a ‘domino effect’.

Demand from rich Chinese investors, low-interest rates, and easy credit were blamed as the catalysts for the levy.

Chinese investors are increasingly looking to Hong Kong for a safe place to store spare cash, upping the number of properties owned by non-residents.

In 2008, non-residents bought one in 17 of Hong Kong’s newly-built properties – which rose to one in five last year.

And property prices have outpaced the record highs from 1997, with Hong Kong’s property market soaring by 20% in the first nine months of this year.

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary John Tsang said: “Home prices have grown rapidly despite the economic slowdown. The risk of a property bubble is growing."

The 15% rate was introduced last weekend, not long after the city announced it would be banning all foreigners from buying new properties entering the market.

Jamie Wong, a British expat looking to relocate to Hong Kong, said: “Hong Kong has always had a reputation for being one of the most open and free market economies in the world, but this is now being called into question.

“It’s a bit of a concern when you think what else the government might be targeting to keep locals happy while penalizing foreigners.”

Transferring money to Hong Kong

If you are looking at investing in property in Hong Kong, you will need to send money across to the city. It is best to review your options and compare the market before making any decisions so that you find the cheapest way to send money abroad.

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A further blow to foreigners: Hong Kong introduces 15% stamp duty

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