Lawmakers pass bill axing all property market curbs

2024-04-19 03:24     BY Tony Wong    Comment:3

The Legislative Assembly (AL) yesterday unanimously passed a government-initiated bill axing all cooling measures for the property market.

The new law will cancel an additional 10-percent stamp duty levied on those buying a third residential unit, an additional 10-percent stamp duty on non-local property buyers, and additional 10-percent stamp duty levied on those who sell a real-estate property within two years of buying it.

The bill passed yesterday will become law on the day after its promulgation in the Official Gazette (BO).

The bill is expected to be gazetted soon.

As the government had requested an urgent procedure for the debate and vote of the bill, it was not arranged for review by any of the legislature’s standing committees before its final article-by-article debate and vote. Therefore, after the outline of the bill was passed during yesterday’s plenary session, its final article-by-article debate and vote were immediately carried out.

In addition to Legislative Assembly President Kou Hoi In, yesterday’s plenary session was attended by 29 legislators, with three of their colleagues absent. All 29 lawmakers voted in favour of all provisions listed in the bill. As is customarily, the speaker refrained from voting.

Introducing the outline of the bill during yesterday’s plenary session, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong noted that various cooling measures, including special stamp duties, have gradually been implemented since 2010 when Macau’s property market was hit by speculation.

Lei noted that 14 years ago, when the cooling measures were implemented, was a time with a low interest rate when Macau’s housing supply, both public housing and in the private market, was insufficient, adding that the city’s property market was also hit by speculation at that time.

Lei underlined that the various cooling measures have been able to stabilise Macau’s property market.

The policy secretary pointed out that in line with the new situation of Macau’s property market, the government submitted the bill easing its property-market cooling measures to the legislature late last year. This law, which took effect on January 1 this year, cancelled an additional five-percent stamp duty levied on those buying a second residential unit, but still kept an additional 10-percent stamp duty levied on those who bought a third residential unit or more.

Lei said that after studying the city’s current property market, the government has concluded that it is unnecessary to continue with all these cooling measures that gradually started from 2010. Consequently, he said, the government submitted the bill – which was unanimously passed by lawmakers during yesterday’s afternoon plenary session.

Lei underlined that the government aims for the new law to enable the sound and sustainable development of the city’s property market.

Lei acknowledged that with the latest changes in the external environment over recent years, including a higher interest rate, Macau’s property market is currently affected by a more cautious investment atmosphere. 

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong speaks during yesterday’s plenary session in the Legislative Assembly’s (AL) hemicycle. – Photo: GCS

This photo taken from Coloane Hill’s walking trail in December last year shows the One Oasis luxury private residential estate on the island. – Photo: Tony Wong

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