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Hong Kong GDP to grow 2.5%-3.5% in 2024, scraps property tightening measures

People cross an intersection in the Central business district of Hong Kong on Feb. 27, 2024.

Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Images

Hong Kong’s economy is expected to grow 2.5%-3.5% this year, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Wednesday as he announced measures to bolster a flagging property market and support the economy.

The special administrative region, which expanded 3.2% in 2023, will cancel all buy-side property tightening measures for residential properties and waive stamp duties payable on the transfer of REIT units, Chan said.

“We decided to cancel all demand-side management measures for residential properties with immediate effect. We consider that the relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions,” Chan said, adding that there was room to further adjust measures for the property market.

Hong Kong’s housing prices, once among the most expensive in the world, have plunged 20% since their 2021 peak, dragged down by fragile market sentiment and a rise in interest rates. Some analysts expect a further 10% drop this year.

The government will roll out more than HK$1 billion ($127 million) in support measures for its beleaguered tourism industry, to help offset the impact from the struggling Chinese economy, which has resulted in fewer visitors from the mainland.

The city will stage more than 80 “mega events” in the first half of the year to boost tourism, including a monthly fireworks and drone show at its famed Victoria Harbour.

Economic growth has also been hampered by geopolitical tensions between China and the United States, while capital flight turned the Hong Kong stock market into the worst performing major index last year.

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