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Property measures necessary for housing prices stabilization

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-09-17 16:49

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung said that measures to stabilize the property market are necessary because the rise in property prices will undermine financial stability and increase the burden on Hong Kong people to afford housing.

Leung told the reporters Tuesday that housing prices maintain stable since overseas and speculative demand had decreased after the measures were introduced.

In October last year, the HKSAR government introduced two new measures -- increasing the Special Stamp Duty rate and extending its restriction period, and introducing the Buyer's Stamp Duty. Transactions in November and December 2012 plunged sharply as speculative activities and non-Hong Kong permanent residents' demand subsided.

Leung said the stock market had risen due to speculation over external macro-tightening and quantitative easing measures, and property prices would have followed if the government had not put the measures in place.

He said the government has insisted the measures are necessary and hopes to gain support from the Legislative Council and members of the public.

Meanwhile, Leung said the government is concerned about Hong Kong's ability to receive visitors and has been assessing the issue.

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