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Hong Kong Lifts Property Curbs as It Looks to Cement Recovery

By Jiahui Huang


Hong Kong has eased housing-market curbs further as it bids to breathe life back into the sluggish sector, part of the city's broader efforts to cement an economic recovery that has faltered after a post-pandemic rebound.

In its presentation of the budget for the next fiscal year, the government said it will cancel stamp duties on all residential property transactions to both locals and permanent residents, effective Wednesday.

"We consider that the relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions," Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan said during the annual budget address.

The move to lift property-cooling measures initially aimed at keeping prices in check removes the tax levied on homebuyers as well as a special stamp duty paid by sellers.

Hong Kong had been widely expected to announce measures to help stimulate the property sector as home prices slump, but the scope of the measures could come as a surprise.

The Hang Seng Properties Index rose 3.1% shortly after the news.

Sentiment in the residential property market had "become very cautious" since the middle of last year, Chan said, amid rising interest rates globally and an uncertain external environment. The number of residential property transactions fell 5% last year, he added.

Hong Kong also reiterated efforts to bolster the stock market, saying it is taking steps to improve liquidity and attract corporate listings.

"The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) and the HKEX are considering an array of measures to boost market efficiency and liquidity," Chan said.

Other measures announced Wednesday included more assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises to tackle capital-flow problems.


Write to Jiahui Huang at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 27, 2024 23:54 ET (04:54 GMT)

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