Stewart Leung chairs the Real Estate and Developers Association. Speaking on TVB, Leung said measures such as increases in stamp duty have been in place for nearly seven years, but property values are still rising because of higher construction costs and land prices, noting that building expenses have doubled in recent years.
Property prices have continued to reach record highs in the past months, despite government efforts to cool the market. Earlier this month the Housing Secretary, Anthony Cheung, admitted the government’s closing of a property tax loophole didn’t address the underlying cause of soaring flat prices.
The government had announced that first-time buyers will be charged 15 percent of stamp duty – instead of 4.25 percent before – if they snap up multiple units in one contract.
Professor Cheung said this will have the desired effect, but doesn’t mean it can help curb rising property prices. He said the main problem is supply and demand, and that the government needed to continue its efforts to increase the amount of flats available.