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Macau Business Daily Car park prices expected to increase 20pct in 2015

The average selling price of a car park has increased 47 per cent but transaction volumes dropped 60 per cent in 2014,according to a property agent.The industry expercts the market to pick up around Chinese New Year

There is no brake on car park costs. Although the transaction volume dropped last year, the average selling price of a car park has increased 47 per cent, said Chan Lik Li, general manager of CarparKing Co. Ltd., a company specialising in letting and selling car parks. He also expects the market to be more active around Lunar New Year, with car park selling prices increasing 20 per cent in 2015.

Mr. Chan said that in the first half of last year, car park prices increased steadily but the market experienced some turbulence in the second half. Generally, 2014 car park prices posted a better performance than 2013. Transaction records from CarparKing indicate that the average transaction value of car parks last year grew 47 per cent. In NAPE district, prices jumped nearly 71 per cent.

A single car park space cost MOP2.05 million in a Taipa residential project by the end of last year versus MOP1.3 million earlier last year, according to CarParking. The price in a commercial centre in NAPE is about MOP1.97 million compared to MOP1.15 million earlier last year.

Mr. Chan explained that the price level in the two districts was “relatively lower” in the past than places like Nam Van. Thus, these districts experienced proportionally bigger surges last year. But the car park prices peaked in the densely populated Areia Preta district at between MOP1.8 million and MOP2.6 million patacas last year. While prices surged last year, the number of car parking transactions dropped by as much as 60 per cent. The market was relatively active in the first half of 2014. But since the middle of the year, the flattening property market in Hong Kong and tough measures curbing speculation in the housing market in Mainland China cast a cloud on the car park market in Macau. The continuous drop in gaming revenue has also resulted in investors adopting a more cautious stance. Some property owners even revised their prices 5 to 10 per cent down at the end of the year.

The dropping transaction volume was also caused by the special stamp duty, which is 20 per cent of the transaction price if sold on within a year, and 10 per cent if sold on within two years. In October 2012, the administration extended its special stamp duty on homes to sales of commercial units and car parks. These measures led to an 80 per cent increase in car park prices in 2013.

Data from the Statistics and Census Service shows that the average selling price of a parking space in the third quarter of 2014 was MOP1.29 million, with the transaction volume 709. In 2013, on average, 400 transactions of car park spaces took place every month, with the average selling price MOP1.06 million.

Increasing rent

Last year, rent increased 35 per cent on average, with rent in areas such as ZAPA surging almost 50 per cent, according to CarparKing. The increasing rent is basically due to limited supply.

Mr. Chan also said that there is still a gap between the selling price of a car park and its rent as the selling price of a car park is high but the rent is not that [relatively] expensive. However, many Macau buyers are buying car parks for their own use rather than investment. Many fear it is hard to find an ideal car park space for rent and the lease is usually signed for one year, which means the ‘tenant’ faces the possibility of a rent increase every year or even losing the spot. He added that car parks are rare property resources in the city and that there are many more cars than available car parks.

Official data shows that there are around 13,800 public car parks. But there is no available data on private car parks. There were more than 114,000 licensed cars in the city as of November 2014, some 5.7 per cent more than a year earlier.

The new border crossing arrangement has also impacted the car park market. The announcement of 24-hour border crossing has led to car park prices in Zhuhai increasing. Mr. Chan cited an example of the Xiuling City property project, where one car park space cost 280,000 yuan last year compared to 160,000 the year before. A parking spot near Gongbei currently costs around 220,000 yuan. More than half of the buyers are Macau residents.

Mr. Chan believes, however, that the more convenient border crossing will negatively impact on the Taipa car park market since many non-resident workers living in the area will choose to move to Zhuhai, thus affecting the property market in Taipa where many non-resident workers reside.

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