Foreign buyers beware: extra taxes apply when buying a home in Hong Kong

Non-permanent residents are liable for a few additional costs when buying a property in the city.

Richard Elms is a consultant at international property firm Savills. He discusses the additional costs foreign buyers have to pay when purchasing a home in Hong Kong.

What are the taxes that foreigners have to pay when buying a home in Hong Kong?

For a foreigner, or someone who doesn’t have a permanent Hong Kong identity card, there are a few stamp duties that apply, which significantly increase the costs of purchasing a Hong Kong home. First of all, you are liable to pay twice the standard stamp duty rate, which is determined on a sliding scale based on the value of your property purchase. It starts at 1.5 per cent for any purchase not exceeding HK$2 million, then goes all the way up to 8.5 per cent for any purchase exceeding HK$21,739,130. More importantly, however, you are liable to pay the buyer’s stamp duty (BSD), which is set at 15 per cent of the purchase price regardless of the transaction amount, so potentially you could be looking at a stamp duty of 23.5 per cent.