A Simplified Guide to Hong Kong’s Stamp Duty 2019

  • By
  • Tracy Lam
  • March 28, 2019

Buying a new home is exciting! Yet in Hong Kong, you better be familiar with the current stamp duty (taxes) policies or you might end up shocked by what you have to pay for a new apartment in this city – already some of the world’s most expensive and unaffordable homes. (Updated March 2019)

What is stamp duty in Hong Kong?

Stamp duty is tax to be paid to the government when someone buys a property in any city. This tax can dramatically alter the cost of buying a property.

There are 3 main categories of stamp duties related to selling or buying properties in Hong Kong:

  1. Ad Valorem Stamp Duty (AVD) for Residential Property vs. Non-Residential Property
  2. Special Stamp Duty (SSD)
  3. Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

The government has been implementing some new stamp duties, known as “cooling measures”, to slow down the drastic rise in home prices since 2010, which many blamed on demand from non-residents and property investors.

Therefore, Hong Kong permanent residents who are buying their first homes are exempted from most of the stamp duties.

Ad Valorem Duty for First-Time Home Buyers (AVD, Old Stamp Duty, Scale 2)

  1. AVDs are paid at the time of purchase.
  2. Applicable for Hong Kong permanent residents who are buying their first homes or switching homes (at the time of transaction there is no property registered under their names).
  3. People who acquire homes under registered companies, instead of as individuals, would also be applicable.
  4. People who are switching properties must sell their original and only property within 6 months after they sign the Conveyance on Sale. They could then apply to the Inland Revenue Department for the tax refund.
ExceedsDoes Not ExceedStamp Duty Rates
HK$0HK$2,000,000HK$100
HK$2,000,000HK$2,351,760HK$100+10% of excess over HK$2,000,000
HK$2,351,760HK$3,000,0001.5%
HK$3,000,000HK$3,290,320HK$45,000 + 10% of excess over HK$3,000,000
HK$3,290,320HK$4,000,0002.25%
HK$4,000,000HK$4,428,570HK$90,000+10% of excess over HK$4,000,000
HK$4,428,570HK$6,000,0003%
HK$6,000,000HK$6,720,000HK$180,000+10% of excess over HK$6,000,000
HK$6,720,000HK$20,000,0003.75%
HK$20,000,000HK$21,739,120HK$750,000+10% of excess over HK$20,000,000
HK$21,739,1204.25%

Ad Valorem Duty for Non-First Time Home Buyers (AVD, New Stamp Duty, Scale 1)

For buyers who don’t qualify under the “Old Stamp Duty” regime above, the rate is a flat 15%.

Ad Valorem Duty for Non-Residential Property (AVD, Double Stamp Duty, DSD)

  1. Applicable for purchases of commercial real estate.
  2. Most of the rates are twice as much as those for residential property, hence the name “Double Stamp Duty”.
ExceedsDoes Not ExceedStamp Duty Rates
HK$0HK$2,000,0001.5%
HK$2,000,000HK$2,351,760HK$30,000+20% of excess over HK$2,000,000
HK$2,351,760HK$3,000,0003%
HK$3,000,000HK$3,290,320HK$90,000 + 20% of excess over HK$3,000,000
HK$3,290,320HK$4,000,0004.5%
HK$4,000,000HK$4,428,570HK$180,000+20% of excess over HK$4,000,000
HK$4,428,570HK$6,000,0006%
HK$6,000,000HK$6,720,000HK$360,000+10% of excess over HK$6,000,000
HK$6,720,000HK$20,000,0007.5%
HK$20,000,000HK$21,739,120HK$1,500,000+10% of excess over HK$20,000,000
HK$21,739,1208.5%

Special Stamp Duty (SSD)

  1. Implemented to curb house flipping.
  2. Paid when selling property.
  3. Any properties resold within specific ‘holding periods’ shall be charged.
  4. Only applicable for residential properties acquired on or after 27 October 2012.
Holding PeriodStamp Duty Rates
6 months or less20%
More than 6 months but for 12 months or less15%
More than 12 months but for 36 months or less15%

Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

  1. BSD is an additional upfront tax on non-permanent-resident buyers.
  2. A flat rate of 15% in addition to AVD for non-permanent-resident individual buyers and company buyers.

Spacious helps you calculate the total cost of buying a house easily! Simply click here: Spacious Mortgage Calculator to find the total buying cost.

Spacious also has other tools that help you buy or sell your properties quickly and effectively. Go to www.spacious.hk to find your new home, or contact our sales team at sales@spacious.hk to find out the best listing package for you!