Chan Refused to Scale Back Property Cooling Measures
Property cooling measures will not be scaled back, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po says, adding the move may be misinterpreted as a government effort to boost the overheated home market. Speaking at the Legislative Council, Chan also warned that there are risks for people who borrow titles of friends and relatives to purchase flats as first-time buyers – therefore evading stamp duty – and that this may be an illegal act. “At this stage, it is not appropriate to relax the cooling measures to help locals buy flats, especially for those marginal buyers,” said Chan. “It might not be prudent if we push locals to buy flats.” The Hong Kong Monetary Authority introduced a new round of mortgage-tightening measures in May in an attempt to control the credit risk in the home market.
Martin Lee Doesn’t See Market Bubble
Martin Lee Ka-shing, executive director of Henderson Land Development, does not believe the housing market will face problems even if rates rise faster than expectations. Experts and analysts have expressed fears a bubble has developed. But Lee said at Henderson’s annual meeting yesterday that current demand for homes is coming mainly from locals and so he does not agree conditions exist for there to be a plunge in prices. The demand for homes has been consistently high even during the SARS period of 2003, he added.