The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong said the city’s government shouldn’t raise stamp duty on home sales as such a move would punish the middle class trying to improve their living standard.

Hong Kong plans to raise transaction tax on homes selling for more than HK$20m to 4.5% from the current 3.75% to cool the property market, Sing Tao Daily said yesterday, citing unidentified people.

'The timing of such a move is unfortunate given current uncertainties in the capital markets,' the association said in a release yesterday, in response to the media report. 'It would be direct interference in the market by the administration.'