Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Parking Mad About Spaces

We first mentioned investors pouring their money into parking lot spaces a few weeks ago here, and the fad has ballooned with speculators in a feeding frenzy.

Parking spots in Tai Wai in the New Territories have jumped to over HK$1.3 million ($167,738) -- higher than pre-1997 property prices.

Some owners are selling parking spaces and making up to a cool HK$300,000 in profit.

Tycoon Li Ka-shing raked in even more money this weekend as his company Cheung Kong sold 514 parking spots for between HK$980,000 to HK$1.3 million in Tai Wai. The company made HK$600 million from the sales, and 200 other car parks were available for lease.

It's probably too late to jump into the parking lot buying mania, but in case you are keen, be sure to look for spots that are near elevators and exits to get more bang for your buck.

Nevertheless the jump in prices and the quick transactions prove there was a policy failure because the Hong Kong government did not extend the additional stamp duty on parking spaces.

"The overall affordability of car parking spaces has been lifted significantly by speculators from the mainland, and the record price level in Tai Wai is very misleading," said Eric Wong, chairman and chief executive of Richburg Motors, a luxury car dealership.

A HK$1.3 million parking spot had the equivalent cost of two luxury multipurpose Toyota Alphard vans.

Wong warned that with more expensive car parks in suburban areas would be "a warning sign of more illegal parking and [the] intensifying congestion problems ahead".

If you can't afford a parking spot all the way out in the New Territories, you will probably park on the street and face the risk of policemen giving you a parking ticket.

But that fine would cost less than renting a spot, so... you will get another fine again, and keep ticketing officers busy unless they turn a blind eye and then you'll be laughing.

The government obviously has not thought through its measures in trying to cool the property market; each one just leads to schemers finding loopholes and exploiting them as quickly as possible for a quick profit.

When will the Leung administration seriously look at the housing problem and think long term in the best interests of first-time buyers and those who desperately need enough room for their families to live in comfortably but not have all their money go to rent.

Also, why must we help tycoons make more money over a weekend than we ever will in a lifetime?

No comments:

Post a Comment