Hong Kong plans to remove all property transaction restrictions to revitalise its market alongside measures to boost infrastructure development.  

Unveiling the 2024-25 budget, Paul Chan Mo-po, the special administrative region’s (SAR) financial secretary, said the property market slump had hit the government coffer hard.

“Revenue from land premium is HK$19.4bn (€2.2bn), substantially lower than the original estimate by HK$65.6bn and far lower than the previous year. Revenue from stamp duty of HK$50bn is lower than the original estimate by HK$35bn.”

To revive the market, Chan said the SAR government would remove measures, including various stamp duties, brought in progressively over the past decade to cool the then hot property market.

“We have been keeping a close watch on the residential property market. After prudent consideration of the overall current situation, we have decided to cancel all demand-side management measures for residential properties with immediate effect.”

To further enhance market competitiveness, Chan said stamp duties payable on the transfer of real estate investment trust units would be waived. The government will forego about HK$1bn of revenues annually through these measures.

Chan also announced a series of measures to boost infrastructure development, including plans to turn Hong Kong into an aviation hub with the planned completion of a third runway at its international airport. Hong Kong also aims to promote the development of an Asian aviation logistics base, he said.

The government would invite expression of interest on supply and operation of smart green transit systems in East Kowloon, and two other locations in 2024.

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