HONG KONG, Nov 7, (Pakistan Point News - 07th Nov, 2016 ) - Shares in Hong Kong developers were battered Monday after the city's leaders raised stamp duty to try to cool runaway home prices. The government slapped a 15 percent tax on all residential purchases, almost double the previous 8.5 percent, except for first-time buyers who are permanent residents. Home prices remain out of reach for most of the city's seven million residents, despite a series of measures by the government. "Property risks have been increasing with the rapid surge of prices and transactions," Financial Secretary John Tsang said Friday when announcing the move. "We have to prevent the risk of a property bubble from worsening, which in turn can threaten our economy and even the stability of the financial system."