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Business Daily Macau Private car park rentals move into high gear

Unless the government implements a policy that greatly discourages the growing number of cars,the surge seen in car parking rentals is not likely to abate,says a leasing agent.

Tony Kuok Leong Son, a member of the Traffic Consultative Committee, told Business Daily that the advisory body has already agreed to the government’s plan to double the hourly parking rate for cars in the city’s 37 public car parks, whilst simultaneously terminating the monthly parking charge system. The government has yet to announce when these adjustments will come into force this year, Mr. Kuok said. Regarding the upcoming adjustment in car parking fees, about 10,000 public car parks’ hourly rate will be MOP6 (US$0.75) during the daytime and MOP3 for nighttime. For motorbikes, the hourly parking rate will be increased to MOP2 during the daytime and MOP1 for nighttime.

“This new adjustment in public car parking fees will directly affect the surrounding car parks,” the general manager ofCarparKingCompany Ltd.,Chan Lik Ki, told Business Daily.

“Unless the government rolls out any major polices that could greatly impact the growth in the number of cars here, the existing limited supply means that the excessive demand will still push up the rental cost here,”Chan said. “We expect that the renewal [rental] increase will go up to MOP600-MOP700 from the current MOP300-MOP500, a new level that could follow once the government implements the new public car parking fees.”

Private market

Rental activity for private car parking remains busy, according toChan Lik Ki. The agency boss added that the rental fee for private car parking has risen an average 20 percent annually in the past two years.

“Take a parking lot in the northern district, for instance; there are now usually three to four car owners waiting to rent the lot,” saidMr. Chan. “At the same time, the special stamp duty [in effect since October 2012] imposed on car parking lots has also locked up supply, which makes the pool of available parking lots even smaller.”

As regulated by the local special stamp duty law, car park owners wishing to sell their lots within the first year of purchase are required to pay an extra tax of 20 per cent of the transaction price; the levy is reduced to 10 per cent if the car park is sold in the second year after purchase

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on April 17, the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo Arrais do Rosário, said the government would like to increase vehicle tax this year in tandem with increasing existing parking fees in order to curb the growth of cars purchased in the city.

Traffic Consultative Committee member Mr. Kuok, however, said that the government has yet to discuss the extent by which it would increase the vehicle tax with the committee.

Some 241,955 registered vehicles plied the roads by the end of the first quarter this year. During the period, an additional 5,500 newly registered vehicles joined them.

Last year, Macau saw an addition of about 5,000 or more newly registered vehicles each quarter.

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