No parking here... HK spot just sold for record $918,000

HONG KONG • Hong Kong has set another property price record. This time, it is for a parking spot.

A 188 sq ft space on Hong Kong island was sold for HK$5.18 million (S$918,000) or HK$27,500 per square foot last month, Ming Pao reported yesterday, citing land registration records.

The  parking space is in the residential building Upton in the Sai Ying Pun area, which was also the site of the previous record parking-space transaction, the Chinese newspaper said.

It tops the HK$4.8 million paid for a parking space last October at another luxury residential complex at Conduit Road, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

The new spot was bought by Mr Kwan Wai-ming, 58, executive director of Huarong Investment Stock, who has spent HK$88.55 million for two apartment units and three parking spaces at the 48-sto- rey Upton since 2014, SCMP said.

His new parking space costs more than some homes: Centaline Property data shows a 284 sq ft, two-bedroom home in Sha Tin, in the New Territories, fetched HK$4.2 million in April.

"There's a public carpark across from Upton which charges a monthly rent of HK$3,000," said Mr Ricky Tang, senior director of Ricacorp Properties' West Mid-Levels. However, anybody willing to spend "more than HK$50 million for an apartment will not want to leave their vehicles in the public carparks", he told SCMP.

Sun Hung Kai, Hong Kong's biggest developer by market value, is slated to release 224 parking spaces for sale next month at its upscale project The Ultima in Ho Man Tin. Prices will range between HK$3.2 million and HK$4 million for each spot, SCMP reported.

Property prices keep soaring despite the government's efforts to tame the world's least affordable housing market. Since the previous market peak in 1997, home prices have risen 76 per cent, according to data from Jones Lang LaSalle.

Small businesses are being forced to close due to spiralling rents and many residents cannot afford to buy or rent decent homes.

Commercial and residential property prices have been fuelled by an influx of money from wealthy mainland Chinese investors and developers. Critics accuse the government of having cosy ties with developers, rather than prioritising the construction of more reasonable public housing, according to Agence France-Presse.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2017, with the headline 'No parking here... HK spot just sold for record $918,000'. Print Edition | Subscribe