Price of parking spaces at HK’s Lohas Park soar a record 23 per cent as Wheelock sells last 87 bays at Malibu flats

25-Oct-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:43 AM Print This Post

The price of car parking spaces at the Lohas Park residential enclave in Hong Kong’s Tseung Kwan O district has risen to a record high, as a chronic shortage in the area forced vehicle owners to bid up prices.

Wheelock Properties, the developer of the Malibu apartments, released the final 87 parking bays in the project at a price range of between HK$2.2 million and up to HK$2.46 million (US$316,396) each, an increase of as much as 23 per cent from two years ago. Applications to bid for the spaces closed yesterday.

Hong Kong is well served by networks of subway trains, surface trams and buses that connect all but the most exclusive residential enclaves with the main business districts, a convenience that has reduced the need to own cars, with the local population owning fewer than 80 vehicles for every 1,000 people, at the bottom 40 per cent of global rankings.

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Still, the supply of car parking spots had lagged far behind the growth in vehicle ownership, as developers built homes with higher profit margins at the expense of parking bays. Malibu, comprising 1,600 flats in six tower blocks, only has 263 parking bays between them, or one spot for every six flats.

“Monthly rent increased to HK$5,000 and still it’s not easy to find one,” said Derek Chan, head of research at Ricacorp Properties.

The soaring price of space at Malibu matches rising costs at other developments in Lohas Park.

A parking space at the 10-year-old Le Prestige, built by Cheung Kong and now renamed CK Asset Holdings, sold earlier this month for HK$2.3 million, setting a record for the neighbourhood.

“Sales of homes and investment properties have been brisk as the overall economy improves after the Covid-19 pandemic was brought under control,” said Chan. “Parking spaces are a popular asset class among investors as they involve smaller lump sum amounts.”

Wheelock is offering the Malibu spots to residents and property owners in other developments at Lohas Park: The Capitol, Le Prestige, Hemera, Wings At Sea and LP6, said Wheelock’s spokesman. Having more bids for the limited number of spaces will only send prices soaring, agents said.

“It is likely the highest price for a parking bay in Lohas Park once the deal is done,” said Ken Chen, a senior sales manager at Centaline Property Agency’s Tseung Kwan O branch.

Sales of residential parking bays in the first nine months of this year jumped 83 per cent to 7,773, according to data from Midland Realty.

The exorbitant cost of parking bays match residential real estate prices in Hong Kong, the most expensive urban centre to live and work in for more than 10 consecutive years.

In May, a spot sold for a world record of HK$11.9 million at the exclusive Mount Nicholson development on The Peak.

The removal of Hong Kong’s double stamp duty had benefited the sector as well, said Ricacorp’s Chan.

The double tariff known as the Doubled Ad Valorem Stamp Duty (DSD) was introduced in February 2013 with the aim of tackling speculative activity in the market. It doubled or increased stamp duty rates across the board. The double levy was rolled back on November 25 last year, when duties reverted to their original rates.


Category: Hong Kong

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