Hong Kong parking frenzy
December 06, 2012 - Hong Kong
The outlook for real estate investment and development in Hong Kong is generally favorable in the next year but investors are looking at creative opportunities outside the residential sector.
Hong Kong implemented cooling measures to deter investors from Mainland China from putting their money in the residential market and these have worked.
However, they have also had unusual side-effects, with the city's imaginative investors now focusing on car parking spaces, which analysts say could hit an all-time high.
The issue grabbed the public's attention in November with a single sale of parking spaces for HKD1.3 million (US$166,666), according to reports.
It was the most expensive sale until tycoon Li Ka-shing's flagship Cheung Kong Holdings offloaded 514 car park slots for a total of HKD600 million.
Some of the slots, located in the New Territories area of Hong Kong bordering Mainland China, were reportedly quickly resold for impressive profits.
People who sell the spaces said they had seen a surge in activity, which they believed was because the slots are not affected by the new taxes, as well as being maintenance-free and relatively cheaper than buying a property.
They say car parking spaces were not previously a popular investment in a city that only has about half a million private cars and is well-connected by a vast public transport system.
"Parking was a very unattractive investment in the past. It's not easy to get rid of it so it's not a very tradable product," Josh Wong, who runs an online car park trading website said.
Update:Sai Ying Pun sets world record with a HK$5.18 million car parking space (French website)
blog, parking, Investment property, cooling measures, Investors