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4/6 News Roundup: March Home Sales Rose 43.6%, Government Warning on Multi-flat Stamp Duty Loophole

Hong Kong Property | April 6, 2017

March Home Sales Rose 43.6%
Sales of residential units in the secondary and primary markets in March rose 43.6%, to 5,856, according to the Land Registry, whose data showed total transaction value for residential units alone was HK$50.4 billion last month, 38.2% higher than February. The number of transactions in the secondary market jumped 71% to 4,085 deals in March from February, while sales of new homes were flat at 1,444 deals in March. The month-on-month total transaction value jumped 41.96% to HK$61.6 billion last month.

Government Warning on Multi-flat Stamp Duty Loophole
Action will be taken against locals evading cooling measures by buying several flats with one sales and purchase agreement if the practice becomes a general trend, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said. Some permanent residents who are also first-time buyers have been purchasing more than one unit with a single sales and purchase agreement to evade stamp duty payments, and the primary home market is becoming overheated again, Cheung said in a Legislative Council Finance Committee meeting yesterday. “The government is concerned about the situation and is trying to understand whether they are extreme cases or a general trend,” Cheung said.

Country Garden to Refund Forest City Buyers
Country Garden Holdings, whose Forest City project in Malaysia is the biggest overseas project by a Chinese property developer, said it will refund money to mainland investors caught up in Beijing’s escalating crackdown on capital outflows. In March, the property giant closed all its Forest City sales centres on the mainland and Zhu Jianmin, vice-president of Country Garden, told South China Morning Post last month that the company has completely stopped their China sales of the mentioned project. For buyers who made down payments on properties at Forest City but are no longer able to transfer the rest of the payment out of China, “they can cancel the transaction and there is no need to pay a forfeit fee”, Zhu said.

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