Vacancy tax is a short-term solution to Hong Kong’s long-term housing shortage crisis

The Hong Kong government plans to introduce a vacancy tax on empty new flats to pry open supply bottlenecks by imposing fines on developers for hoarding new homes. Under the proposed legislation, a tax equivalent to twice the estimated annual rental value will be levied on flats that remain unsold after 12 months of receiving an occupation permit.

According to the Rating and Valuation Department, the preliminary findings in the Hong Kong Property Review 2019 indicate that the vacancy rate of…

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