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Feb 04, 2014

Roundtrip buying costs are low in Hong Kong

How high are realtors’ and lawyers’ fees in Hong Kong? What about other property purchase costs?

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Stamp Duty 1.50% - 3.75% buyer
Special Stamp Duty (SSD) 5% - 20% buyer
Buyer Stamp Duty (BSD) 15% buyer
Legal Fee 0.50% - 2% buyer
Real Estate Agent’s Fee 0.50% - 1%
0.50% - 1%
Costs paid by buyer 22.50% - 41.75%
Costs paid by seller 0.50% - 1%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

How difficult is the property purchase process in Hong Kong?

Foreigners, in general, can buy properties such as condominiums in Hong Kong and rent out without restriction. However, Hong Kong is not open to Afghans, Albanians, Cubans, North Koreans and Chinese from the mainland (unless they are permanent residents in another country).

Hong Kong luxury townhouses

However, buying land is a different story. St. John’s Cathedral is the only freehold property in Hong Kong. This exception aside, all other land belongs to the government, and land tenure is on a renewable leasehold basis. Land leases have in the past been granted for 75, 99, or 999 years, and at present are being granted for 50 years.

Typically, the buyer pays a 5% of the purchase price as down payment when a preliminary sales and purchase agreement is signed. When a formal agreement is signed, he pays another 5%, and the rest of the balance is paid at closing, which can take six to eight weeks later.

Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table

The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property – lawyers’ fees, notaries’ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents’ fees, etc.

Hong Kong uses Hong Kong Dollar. Exchange rate is at US$1 USD = 7.78621 HKD as of 20th October 2006.

Stamp Duty on Property Sales

Properties sold in Hong Kong are subject to property duty at progressive rates, up to 4.25%.


Up to 2 million (US$257,732) HKD100 (US$13)
2 million – 3 million (US$386,598) 1.50%
3 million – 4 million (US$515,464) 2.25%
4 million – 6 million (US$773,196) 3.00%
6 million – 20 million (US$2,577,320) 3.75%
Over 20 million (US$2,577,320) 4.25%
Source: Global Property Guide

Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD)
There is a buyer’s stamp duty at a flat rate of 15% on all residential properties acquired as of 27 October 2012. Buyer’s stamp duty is applied in addition to the existing stamp duty and special stamp duty, if applicable.

Legal Fee:
Legal fees are around 0.50% to 2% of property value. Legal fees are negotiable.

Real Estate Agent´s Fee:
Real estate agent’s fee is generally around 1% to 2% of property value. The seller is typically liable for real estate agent’s fee, but it can be split equally between the seller and the buyer.

Registration Fee:
Registration of assignment.


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