December 7th, 2012
06:59 AM GMT
Hong Kong (CNN) – Nestled within Hong Kong's dense skyscraper jungle, a $640,000 property sits among some of the world's most expensive commercial and residential spaces.
The price might sound like a steal. This Asian financial capital has the world's priciest property, according to Savills. Since the start of 2010, average Hong Kong home prices have doubled.
But the price tag mentioned here is neither for a home nor an office.
It is for a parking space: A slab of undecorated concrete, stained by black motor oil, about 8-feet-by-16-feet in size. Price per square foot: nearly $5,000.
"I think this is the best car park space I ever had," said the CEO of Gale Well Group, a property firm that owns hundreds of residential and commercial spaces across the city. "You can go straight to the office and the elevator. Only 20 steps - 20 steps!"
The $640,000 parking space Hong Kong punctures property bubble
The CEO does not own just one $640,000 parking space. Tong owns two. If he were to sell he could bank $1.3 million.
"People don't mind paying more," boasted Tong. "But I'm not eager to sell."
And yet that is the reality for Hong Kong.
According to the latest Parking Rate Survey by Colliers International, the global property services firm, this city has the most exorbitant monthly parking fees in the Asia-Pacific.
Hong Kong's monthly median parking rate was $744.72 in 2011. With less than a dollar's difference, Tokyo came in as Asia's number two.
The reason for Hong Kong's pricey parking rates is rooted in governmental curbs on the city's residential market, said Buggle Lau, chief analyst at Midland Realty, one of the city's largest real estate companies.
Many analysts believe Hong Kong's property market is a bubble waiting to burst. To deflate it slowly, the government has introduced a series of increasingly stringent policies since November 2010. These have made it more expensive for investors to buy or flip homes for a quick profit.
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