$877,000 parking spot a sign of times in Hong Kong

Prop­erty mar­ket run amok drives prices ever higher

Toronto Star - - NEWS - AUSTIN RAMZY

HONG KONG— In many places, $877,000 can buy you a very nice house. For that price in Hong Kong, you can buy a slab of con­crete, roughly17 feet long and11feet wide, to leave your lux­ury car. Hong Kong is now home to a very ex­pen­sive parking spot, the lat­est sign of a prop­erty mar­ket run amok.

“This is ba­si­cally the price of one flat in Hong Kong,” said Len­non Choy, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of real es­tate and con­struc­tion at the Univer­sity of Hong Kong. “This is crazy, ac­tu­ally.”

The buyer was listed as Kwan Wai- ming, whom lo­cal news out­lets iden­ti­fied as ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Huarong In­vest­ment Stock Corp.

The huge price paid for a sin­gle parking spot il­lus­trates the broader rise in real es­tate val­ues. While the run-up has en­riched prop­erty own­ers and de­vel­op­ers, it has led to wide­spread wor­ries that a gen­er­a­tion of young res­i­dents will be un­able to af­ford a home. The un­af­ford­abil­ity of hous­ing played a role in protests three years ago and has spurred lead­ers to try to ad­dress the prob­lem.

Such an ex­pen­sive parking spot may seem ex­ces­sive in a city where a pas­sen­ger can cross Hong Kong Is­land for $1.70 on the sub­way.

But some wealthy res­i­dents revel in the recog­ni­tion that comes with spend­ing big. Last year, a li­cence plate car­ry­ing the num­ber 28, which sounds like a phrase for “easy money” in Can­tonese, sold for a record $3 mil­lion at auc­tion.


The en­trance of the car park in the Up­ton build­ing in Hong Kong.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.