Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Tax-driven Bunching of Housing Market Transactions: The case of Hong Kong

Leung, Charles Ka Yui and Leung, Tommy Tin Cheuk and Tsang, Byron Kwok Ping (2014): Tax-driven Bunching of Housing Market Transactions: The case of Hong Kong.

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Abstract

We study the implications of property market transaction tax. As property buyers are obligated to pay a transaction tax (“stamp duty”, or SD) where the rate increases with the value of the transaction, there are incentives to trade at or just below the cutoff points of the tax schedule. Thus, both “bunching in transactions” and “underpricing” should be observed near those cutoffs. Furthermore, the bunching points should change with the tax schedule. We confirm these conjectures with a rich dataset from the Hong Kong housing market and provide a measure of the tax avoidance.

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