Hong Kong restricts immigration based on property investment

16:58, October 14, 2010      

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Donald Tsang, Hong Kong's chief executive, officially announced that the government is temporarily restricting immigration based on property investment as of Oct. 14, according to Hong Kong media reports.

Tsang indicated that under the city's Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, non-Hong Kong residents could obtain residency in the Chinese city by investing a sum of money in local assets, including real estate. In the nine months that ended on Sept. 30, real estate investments accounted for 42 percent of total investment under the program.

"Despite the fact that real estate investments under the scheme in recent years have only represented about one percent of the total market turnover, the government, in light of public concern, has decided to temporarily remove real estate from the investment asset classes under the scheme," Tsang told lawmakers.

Tsang pointed out that the Security Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will explain the details and the other changes.

Some analysts have said that the new measures will affect property investments from non-Hong Kong residents, which mainly included residents from mainland China. These investors have contributed to the rise in the city's private housing prices.

Tsang's policy speech comes at a time when the city's property prices are near levels seen before the 1997 Asian financial crisis, with average home prices up 15 percent so far this year, extending a 30 percent increase in 2009.

By Zhang Qian, People's Daily Online


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