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A Simplified Guide to Hong Kong's Stamp Duty 2023

Hong Kong Property | January 10, 2023

Buying a new home is exciting! Yet in Hong Kong, it’s better getting familiar with all the costs associated with the sale and purchase of a property. Apart from the flat price itself, other expenses, such as stamp duty, should not be overlooked. What are the common types of stamp duty in place in the local property market? How are they calculated? Here’s what you need to know.


Jump to: Why is Stamp Duty required? | Ad Valorem Stamp Duty (AVD)  | Special Stamp Duty (SSD) | Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) | Late Payment of Stamp Duty | FAQ



Why is stamp duty required?

Stamp duty (also known as a stamp tax) is a tax a government levies on documents that are required to legally record certain types of transactions. In terms of property transaction, such documents are those recording the legal transfer of the property. After the stamp duties are paid, those documents are granted legal protection, as only stamped documents can be used as evidence in court. 

The amount of payable stamp duty relies on the property’s price, the buyer’s identity and any late charge incurred.

Types of stamp duty applicable to local residential property

Three types of stamp duty are applicable to the transfer of residential property. Whether a buyer has to pay part or all of those depends on his “identity”. The three types of stamp duty are:

  • Ad Valorem Stamp Duty (AVD) 
  • Special Stamp Duty (SSD)
  • Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)

Note that purchase of car park space is subject to the AVD, despite being a non-residential property.


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Ad Valorem Stamp Duty (AVD) 

The AVD applies when the assignment of a property is changed. The tax rates are divided into Scale 1 (Part 1 & 2)  and Scale 2, with first-time home purchase calculated at the lowest rates.  

AVD for First-time Home Buyers  (Rates under Scale 2)

  • applicable to Hong Kong permanent residents who are buying their first homes on their behalf and do not own any other residential properties in Hong Kong at the time of acquisition
  • people who are switching properties and wish to claim partial refund of the AVD paid on acquisition of the new property, must sell their original property within 12 months after the date of conveyance of the new property.

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%

AVD for Non-First Time Home Buyers (Rates under Part 1 of Scale 1)

The AVD aims to curb property speculation, such as “buy-to-sell” deals. Any instruments of residential property executed on or after 5 November 2016 for the sale and purchase of residential property, will be subject to the AVD rates under Part 1 of Scale 1.

It’s worth noting that for eligible incoming talents who purchase a residential property in Hong Kong and subsequently become a Hong Kong permanent resident after residing in Hong Kong for seven years, they can apply for a refund of the AVD (15%) paid for the first residential property purchased, but they still need to pay the AVD at Scale 2 rates. The refund is applicable to those talents who purchase a residential property in Hong Kong on or after 19 October 2022.


Applicable toStamp Duty Rates
Non-Hong Kong Permanent Residents15%
Non-First Time Home Buyers15%
Buying more than 1 residential property under a single instrument15%
Buying property in the name of a company15%

AVD for Non-residential Properties

In view of the worsening property speculation ,the government doubled the AVD rates charged to the sale and purchase of all immovable properties in 2013. 

But the higher rates were withdrawn in 2020 , after the non-residential property markets had seen a significant drop in transaction volumes. The authority followed to announce that any instrument executed on or after 26 November 2020 for the sale and purchase or transfer of non-residential property will be subject to AVD at the rates under Scale 2.


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%

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Special Stamp Duty (SSD)

This tax is introduced to curb property speculation activities such as quick turnover transactions. It is charged on top of the AVD.

  • any properties resold within specific ‘holding periods’ shall be charged.
  • 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)

This tax,  also known as “non-Hong Kong Permanent Resident Stamp Duty” , is charged against purchasers who are overseas investors or companies on top of the AVD.


Applicable toStamp Duty Rates
Non-Hong Kong Permanent Residents15%
Buying property in the name of a company15%


Late Payment of Stamp Duty

 Late payment of stamp duty will incur a penalty of up to a maximum of 10 times of the original amount.


Late TermStamp Duty Charge
Does not exceed 1 month2 times of the original amount
Exceeds 1 month, but not exceeding 2 months4 times of the original amount
Other conditions10 times of the original amount

As mentioned earlier, home prices affect the amount of stamp duty charged to the property. If you are looking for a specific price range, go to www.spacious.hk to get filtered listings of your interest or contact our sales team at sales@spacious.hk to find out the best listing package for you!


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FAQ

Who (purchaser or vendor) shall pay the stamp duty (AVD, SSD, BSD)  when buying a home?

The stamp duty is usually paid by the purchaser, but sometimes developers may provide some tax concessions to purchasers as part of their new flat selling plan.

When is stamp duty paid in a property transaction?  (AVD, SSD, BSD)  

It is usually paid when signing the formal agreement of sale and purchase. But sometimes, it also depends on the period of time between signing the preliminary and formal agreements.


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