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It has been widely reasoned that the demonstrations over the past six months in Hong Kong have been driven, in part, by frustrations of young locals locked out of the residential property market due to prices that have risen to incredible levels. The government has attempted to ameliorate this situation through various measures however there’s no easy fix to such a large, complex problem. One of the efforts underway is the vacancy tax which focuses on forcing developers to release completed units to the market sooner and not withhold stock from the market to support higher prices. It’ll impose a vacancy tax on property developers that are found to be hoarding new flats. The bill, announced in June 2018, is being vetted by lawmakers and will be applied retroactively if it’s passed.
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