The HK Govt seeks to plug housing loophole with stamp duty rise for multiple flat purchases

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First-time Hong Kong homebuyers purchasing multiple flats in one go will now have to pay a 15 per cent stamp duty as the ­government finally seeks to plug a legal loophole open to exploitation by speculators.

The loophole was first reported by the Post last November, days after the government, in a bid to curb runaway property prices, more than doubled the stamp duty to a flat rate of 15 per cent for all residential purchases. It did not apply to first-time buyers, allowing speculators among them to lump several purchases together under a single transaction deal.

The new cooling measure, which came into effect at midnight, means those buying several flats with just one sales and purchase agreement will now have to pay 15 per cent stamp duty for each of the properties.

Read more at SCMP