Friday, 9 November 2012

The Next Big Investment

Psst! Wondering where to park your money since depressed stock prices are bringing you down and don't have enough money to shell out for a flat?

Then what about the next best thing and parking your money in a parking space in Hong Kong?

The benefits? There is currently a rental yield of 3 to 5 percent, and even better, no stamp duty when it's time to sell.

Also you don't have to worry about fung shui or where the space is located... it's just a parking spot really. There's no need for maintenance either. Sounds like a good deal, no?

Many people had the same idea too.

Earlier this week Chinachem released a number of parking spaces in Hong Kong Garden, Bella Vista, Golden Lion Garden, Belair Gardens and Shatin 33.

Six hundred spaces were sold on Monday and Tuesday, and at least another 120 on Thursday.

"People queued up at the sales office in Tsuen Wan's Nina Tower when sales began at 9am," said Andy Leung, senior sales manager at Midland Realty.

Seeing interest in parking lots, Chinachem raised prices by HK$30,000 on Thursday.

The price of an average parking space in Hong Kong Garden is about HK$320,000 and it can be rented out for HK$1,500 a month, yielding more than 5 percent.

"If you spend HK$2.5 million to buy a flat at a housing estate and rent it out for HK$9,000 a month, your net rental yield is just about 4 percent," Leung said.

"Most people buying parking spaces are investors. They are seeking a new avenue of investment to hedge against inflation," said Tony Lai, a manager at Centaline Property Agency.

"With a raft of new restrictions on residential property, parking spaces have suddenly become a popular investment," he said.

Not only Chinachem, but also New World Development and Sino Land have started selling parking spaces since the new stamp duties on buyers who are not permanent residents was implemented.

Cheung Kong will start selling spots in Tai Wai's Festival City later this month, while Wheelock Properties will be selling lots in Tai Wai's Parc Royale, Bellagio in Sham Tseng and Palm Cove in Tuen Mun.

However, Wong Leung-sing, an associate director of research at Centaline warned there were risks to buying parking spaces as investment.

"if the economy tanks, the first thing people will do is sell their cars," he said.

He believes that could lead to a 50 percent increase in parking spaces available.

Is the car market that volatile?

There's always a shortage of places for people to park their cars, no?

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