Newsweek: A parking spot in a luxury estate in Hong Kong sold for $1.3 million, breaking the record for the most expensive parking spot, which sold in 2019 for $1.29 million and is also in Hong Kong. Mount Nicholson, the epitome of extravagant living in Hong Kong, is a residential development in The Peak—a hill on the western half of Hong Kong Island. Developed by Wharf Holdings and the Nan Fung Group, parking spaces in the area are sold to the highest bidder, and the South China Morning Post reported that this most recent parking space went for HK$10 million, which comes to $1.3 million in American currency.
“It is definitely the most expensive car parking spot in Hong Kong,” said William Lau, a sales director at Centaline Property Agency’s branch on The Peak.
But because the houses on Mount Nicholson are sold on average for nearly $100 million, Lau told the South China Morning Post that owners spending around HK$10 million for a parking spot was not a big deal for them.
One apartment in Mount Nicholson was previously named the most expensive in all of Asia before a project in the mid-levels of Hong Kong took the title in February, reported The Business Times.
The parking space resides in the wealthiest city in the world, as the Borgen Project reported that one in seven people in Hong Kong are millionaires. However, the city also has an immense housing and overall space crisis that is hard to control.
One in five people live below the city’s poverty line. The disparity between the rich and the poor in Hong Kong is the worst it has been in 45 years, reported the South China Morning Post.
Rent and house prices are skyrocketing in Hong Kong, as the Borgen Project reported that as of 2020, the monthly rent for almost half of the city’s apartments was $2,550, and was projected to go up. Those who cannot afford rent have allegedly taken to finding shelter in footbridges, fast-food restaurants, and creating shacks under highways.
The city’s urban public space, according to the BBC, is particularly small, as well. Residents have roughly 29 square feet of urban park space per person, which the BBC equates to the size of a coffin.
The housing crisis, public space shortage, and astronomical prices are also likely the consequence of restrictive land usage regulations, the Borgen Project said. The government owns all of the land in Hong Kong but leaves only 7 percent for housing. When developers buy the land, they have to increase the prices to make a profit.
“People should not have to get used to having insufficient public space,” Carine Lai, a researcher at Hong Kong think tank Civic Exchange, told the BBC.
The city has plans to increase space per resident, but the plans might not come to fruition until 2030, the BBC reported.
Newsweek reached out to Centaline Property Agency but did not hear back in time for publication.
Originally published on Newsweek on June 3rd, 2021.