A Hong Kong executive has paid HK$5.18 million (NZ$916,853m) for space to leave his vehicle, setting yet another record in the costliest major urban centre on earth to become the owner of the world's most expensive car parking spot.
Kwan Wai-ming, the executive director of Huarong Investment Stock Corp, paid the record price for his third parking spot at the Upton apartment complex in western Hong Kong's Sai Ying Pun. He had already spent a total of HK$88.55m since 2014 for two apartment units, and three parking spaces at the 48-storey complex.
Lot No 14 on the first floor of the tower measures 188 square feet (17.5 square metres), about 40 per cent bigger than the typical space, according to the data and records by the Land Registry.
The price paid by Kwan, 58, surpassed the HK$4.8m record set last October at 55 Conduit Road at the Mid-Levels, the then world record holder for the costliest car park. Kwan could not be reached to comment.
Kwan paid a total of HK$75.6m in 2014 and 2016 for two apartment units at Upton, according to records. In January last year, he bought two car parking spaces at the complex, developed by Emperor International Holdings, for HK$3.78m and HK$3.98m.
The amount paid for Kwan's third parking space is enough to buy a 200-sq ft apartment unit at the One Prestige apartment complex in North Point, or a three-bedroom flat at Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai, according to agents' listings.
Hong Kong's property prices have topped the world by square footage, making the city the most expensive urban centre to live and work in. Soaring prices of offices, apartment units and villas have also lifted the cost of car parking spaces, making their ownership the latest status symbols for some, and investment opportunities for others.
"There's a public car park across from Upton, which charges a monthly rent of HK$3,000," said Ricky Tang, senior director of Ricacorp Properties' West Mid-Levels. However, anybody willing to spend "more than HK$50 million for an apartment will not want to leave their vehicles in the public car parks", he said.
Nearby Upton at The Belcher's, developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties, parking spaces are being offered for between HK$3m to HK$4m each, agents said.
"It's hard to say whether these purchases are worth the money, as buyers see them as necessities, and they can afford them," Tang said.
Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong's biggest developer by market value, is scheduled to release 224 car parking spaces for sale next month at its upscale Ultima project in Ho Man Tin. Prices per space will range between HK$3.2m and HK$4m.