The Hong Kong government will suspend its practice of granting residency rights to foreigners who make property investments in the city, the Financial Times reported. Under a 2003 scheme, foreign investors who purchased more than US$840,000 in real estate, equities or other assets could gain residency rights in the city. The announcement, made Wednesday by Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang, is directed primarily at mainland Chinese investors, who are being blamed for driving the city’s property prices to unheard-of levels. Residential prices in Hong Kong have risen 45% since late 2008 due to low interest rates, restricted supply and increasing demand from mainland buyers. "Stabilizing property prices is our top priority. We will not allow a bubble to be formed," Tsang said at a press conference following his annual policy address.
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