HK park­ing costs $387,000 as cash moves from homes

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -


In­vestors re­act­ing to the Hong Kong government's cam­paign to curb home buy­ing in the world's most ex­pen­sive mar­ket are shift­ing money into park­ing spa­ces, push­ing up prices that in high-end neigh­bor­hoods can match the cost of two U.S. homes.

The av­er­age price of a pre­vi­ously owned park­ing spot in res­i­den­tial com­plexes rose 6.7 per­cent to HK$640,000 ($82,600) in the third quar­ter, the sec­ond high­est on record, from the prior three months, ac­cord­ing to Cen­taline Prop­erty Agency Ltd. A space in the ex­clu­sive Re­pulse Bay area sold in May for HK$3 mil­lion ($387,000), the most for a sin­gle trans­ac­tion and more than dou­ble the me­dian U.S. home price, ac­cord­ing to, a web­site that tal­lies park­ing-spot in­for­ma­tion.

Homes in Hong Kong are tough to buy with curbs on the real-es­tate mar­ket, so in­vestors are mov­ing into park­ing spots. One re­cently went for $400,000.

Hong Kong Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying has un­veiled three ma­jor sets of curbs on home buy­ing since tak­ing over in July, amid con­cerns that con­tin­ued U.S. stim­u­lus would at­tract more funds into the city and fuel an as­set bub­ble.

Apart­ment prices in the city dou­bled in al­most four years, driven by near record­low in­ter­est rates and an in­flux of money from China.

"There's just too much liq­uid­ity in the mar­ket," said Simon Lo, Hong Kong-based ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of re­search and ad­vi­sory at prop­erty bro­ker Col­liers In­ter­na­tional. "The government has set up a fire­wall for res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties, but all this money still needs to find a place."

Home prices gained 4.4 per­cent in the third quar­ter, ac­cord­ing to Cen­taline, the city's big­gest closely held real­tor by mar­ket share. Hong Kong is the prici­est place to buy a home, ac­cord­ing to bro­ker Sav­ills Plc (SVS), which com­pared prices in 10 cities, in­clud­ing New York and Lon­don.

Most park­ing spa­ces in Hong Kong, in­clud­ing those in­side res­i­den­tial com­plexes, are freely trans­fer­able with sep­a­rate own­er­ship ti­tles from the apart­ments, ac­cord­ing to Hong Kong City Park­ing, which op­er­ates 10 park­ing garages in the city.

Even so, some garages have rules pro­hibit­ing non­res­i­dents from en­ter­ing and park­ing on the premises, which low­ers the leas­ing op­tions avail­able to the own­ers, said City Park­ing Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Josh Wong.

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