A man in Hong Kong has just spent US$760,000 on a space in a parking garage, reportedly the most that anyone has ever paid for a place to leave a car.
The news prompted the South China Morning Post to try and discover who would spend so much money on a parking space, located at the Ultima luxury residential development in Ho Man Tin, near Kowloon Bay (pictured).
Reporters checked the special district’s land registry, and found that the buyer is Jack Chan Siu-kit, chairman of Pan Pacific Financial Holdings, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
He and partner Cheung Tsui-ling are founders of the Chinese Youth Dreamers Foundation.
The parking space is small beer, it turns out. The pair own nine luxury properties in the city, and reportedly spent $25m on six properties in 2014 and 2015.
The price paid is symptomatic of the runaway property market in Hong Kong.
Prices have doubled in the last 10 years, reaching US$3,182 per square foot, compared with $2,510 for a prime location in central London, bringing the cost of a modest three bed apartment to about $19m.
A number of other parking spaces have changed hands for astonishing sums in the past few years.
A spot at Dragons Range in Sha Tin, in the New Territories, sold for $530,000 in April, and in June last year, a business executive paid $660,000 for another rectangle of concrete in Sai Ying Pun on Hong Kong island.
Last year, property developer Henderson agreed to buy a five-storey car park in the Central district of Hong Kong for US$3bn, making it "the world’s most expensive commercial land plot".
The company, which is owned by one of Hong Kong’s richest families, was in a bidding war with the Chinese developers that have dominated the region’s property market in the past few years. In the end it beat eight rivals, six from Hong Kong and two from the mainland, for the 31,000 sq ft Murray Road site.
Image: The lobby of the Ultima Hong Kong (HBA)