Expert sees little chance of relaxation on property cooling measures

JLL, Colliers, and CBRE weigh in on the latest budget measures for property.

The government did not make any adjustments on the cooling measures for the housing market, which has been subdued due to interest rates and weakening economy.

In a statement, JLL said it may be an adequate time to adjust the market by loosening cooling measures.

“As the government has not relaxed measures in this situation, I believe there will be little chance of relaxation in the future," Joseph Tsang, chairman at JLL in Hong Kong, said.

Stamp duties

During the budget announcement, the government implemented adjustments on the stamp duty such as computation for the ad valorem stamp duty payable for selling, purchasing, and transferring residential and non-residential properties.

This includes families allowed to buy a residential property worth $3m with stamp duty worth $100.

Rita Wong, executive director, Head of Valuation & Consulting, Valuation & Advisory Services, Greater China at CBRE, said the stamp duty was lowered but the overall policy remains unchanged.

“The transactions or transfers of residential and non‑residential properties will benefit from a lower ad valorem tax. This includes both small residential units and non-residential such as carparks transactions. It’s noteworthy that transactions of residential units below $3m only accounted for less than 5% of total transaction volume in 2022,”  said Wong.

Tsang said only buyers who bought a flat worth below $10m will benefit from the stamp duty adjustments.

“However, they cannot save much. Currently many flats are selling for over$10m, and therefore, the policy on the housing market has little effect,” he added.

Housing supply

Whilst 105,000 units are expected to be available in the residential market for the next three to four years, Hannah Jeong, head of valuation & advisory services, in Colliers Hong Kong, said they fear that the failed residential and commercial land sales will affect land and housing supply.

She further called on the government to address this land supply issue.

“The government should improve valuation accuracy based on the latest market conditions and increase the attractiveness of sites using all means necessary to prevent consecutive failed sales, which would slow down land supply and hurt the overall development of Hong Kong,” she said.

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