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Latest Stamp Duty Measures For Hong Kong Properties Announced In 2024 Budget

Hong Kong Financial Secretary the Honourable Paul Chan delivered the 2024-2025 Budget on 28 February 2024. This article highlights a few aspects relevant to the real estate industry.

With effect from 28 February 2024, buyers of residential properties are only required to pay ad valorem stamp duty at the scale shown below ranging from HK$100 up to 4.25% of the higher of the market value or consideration of the property. This rate is applicable to Permanent and Non-Permanent Hong Kong residents. 

No additional stamp duty is payable even if the buyer does not hold a permanent Hong Kong identity card or is a foreigner.

There is also no holding period in which the buyer will have to maintain as the registered owner of the property. There is no Seller’s Stamp Duty where a seller sells his property within 2 years of purchase.

Public Revenue Protection (Stamp Duty) Order 2024 with the draft bill to amend the Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap. 117) to give effect to the abovementioned changes (as mentioned in the 2024-2025 Budget) has been gazetted. The government has four months to introduce the bill to the Legislative Council to enact the bill into law. 

Hong Kong Monetary Authority to Raise Loan-to-value Caps 

On 28 February 2024, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) issued a circular to licensed banks to raise Loan-to-value (“LTV”) caps for both residential and non-residential mortgage loans and suspended the stress test requirement, all becoming effective on the same day.

After detailed analysis, the HKMA considers that there is room to adjust the countercyclical macroprudential measures for property mortgage loans and to suitably adjust other related supervisory requirements on property loans, while continuing to maintain banking stability and ensuring the proper risk management of property lending by banks.

With the US Federal Reserve recently expressing that the US rate hike cycle might be approaching an end, the probability of a further increase in mortgage interest rates in Hong Kong in the near future is relatively low. The HKMA therefore considers it appropriate to suspend the interest rate stress testing requirement for property mortgage lending that assumes a 200-basis-point rise in the mortgage rate.

Type of properties Self-use or Investment purposes Adjustments made
Residential  Self-Use

Maximum LTV ratios will be adjusted to 70% for properties valued at HK$30 million or below.

 

Maximum LTV ratios will be adjusted to 60% for properties valued at HK$35 million or above. 

 

To avoid a sudden drop in applicable LTV ratios, ratios for properties valued between HK$30 million and HK$35 million will be adjusted downward gradually.

Residential  Non-Self Use /Investment  Maximum LTV ratio will be adjusted to 60% from 50% 
Non-residential properties  Self-Use /Investments Maximum LTV ratio for non- will be adjusted to 70% from 60% 
Residential and non-residential properties mortgage loans assessed based on the net worth of mortgage applicants N/A Maximum LTV ratio will be adjusted to 60% from 50% 

The abovementioned adjustments will take effect from 28 February 2024 and apply to property transactions with binding provisional sale and purchase agreements signed on 28 February 2024 or subsequently.

 

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