1 February 2019

Survey Findings on Views about the Residential Property Market Policy
Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK



A telephone survey was conducted from 16 to 22 January 2019 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, to gauge public views on the residential property market policy. A total of 41.6% of the respondents said that the current ‘spicy’ measures of stamp duty should be kept unchanged, while 41.8% thought the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for residential properties should be higher.

Major findings are summarised as follows 

Spicy’ Measures of Stamp duty and Maximum Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. In recent years, the government has introduced a series of ‘spicy’ measures of stamp duty, including Double Stamp Duty (DSD), Special Stamp Duty (SSD) and Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD). Of the respondents, 41.6% thought that the current ‘spicy’ measures of stamp duty should be kept unchanged, 20.4% thought that they should be strengthened, while 18.4% thought they should be loosened. A total of 41.8% of the respondents indicated that the maximum LTV ratio for residential properties should be higher, 36.1% said that it should be kept unchanged and only 4.2% claimed that it should be lower. 

Timing of Loosening ‘Spicy’ Measures and Increasing Maximum LTV ratio. The respondents were also asked about their views on when the ‘spicy’ measures of stamp duty should be loosened. Only 21.8% answered that the measures should be loosened when the level of property prices ‘decreases by 20% to less than 30%’, 18.1% answered ‘decreases by 30% to less than 50%’ and 15.5% answered ‘decreases by 10% to less than 20%’. Regarding the maximum LTV ratio, 23.1% of the respondents thought that the ratio should increase when the level of property prices ‘decreases by 20% to less than 30%’, 17.5% answered ‘decreases by 10% to less than 20%’ and 13.9% answered ‘decreases by 30% to less than 50%’. 

Prediction of Property Prices. When the respondents were asked about their prediction of property prices in the coming year, 38.7% thought that the price level would remain at the current level, 30.0% predicted a fall, while 18.7% expected a rise. Of those predicting a fall, relatively more respondents thought the decrease would be in the range of ‘5% to less than 10%’ (31.5%) and ‘10% to less than 20%’ (25.8%). Of those expecting a rise, a relatively larger portion believed that the property prices would increase by ‘5% to less than 10%’ (37.6%) and ‘10% to less than 20%’ (28.6%).

Opportune Time to Buy a Property. When asked about the opportune time to buy property, 68.5% of the respondents did not think it was an opportune time right now, while only 12.2% thought otherwise. 

Probability of Buying a Residential Property. When asked about the probability of buying a residential property in the coming year, 87.1% of the respondents said that it was ‘low’ (24.3%) or ‘very low’ (62.8%), 6.8% answered ‘fifty-fifty chance’, and only 2.1% said that it was ‘high’ (1.8%) or ‘very high’ (0.3%). 

Importance of Owning a Residential Property. To 68.8% of the respondents, it was important (37.6%) or very important (31.2%) to have their own residential property. 20.1% answered ‘neutral’ and only 7.1% believed it was unimportant (6.5%) or very unimportant (0.6%). 

In this survey, a total of 711 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 38.5%. The sampling error is estimated at plus or minus 3.68 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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