Community & Education Hong Kong

Over​ ​90​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​of​ ​Link’s​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​charge​ ​more​ ​than​ ​their​ ​Housing​ ​Authority counterparts

Following​ ​our​ ​investigative​ ​story​ ​about ​Link​ Asset Management, which revealed ​that​ ​the​ ​real​ ​estate​ ​investment​ ​trust​ ​may​ ​have​ ​breached​ ​land​ ​lease​ ​conditions​ ​in​ ​its car​ ​parks,​ ​FactWire​ ​has​ ​created​ ​an​ ​graphic​ ​comparing​ ​182​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​owned​ ​by​ ​Link​ ​with those​ ​owned by​ ​the​ ​Housing​ ​Authority​ ​(HA)​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​districts.

 

factwire link

Photo: FactWire.

Results​ ​show​ ​92​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​of​ ​Link’s​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​charge​ ​more​ ​per​ ​month​ ​than​ ​their​ ​HA counterparts. One​ ​covered,​ ​floating​ ​private​ ​car​ ​parking​ ​space​ ​in​ ​Link’s​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​was​ ​32.9 per​ ​cent​ ​more​ ​expensive​ ​to​ ​rent​ ​on​ ​average​ ​per​ ​month.​ ​The​ ​one​ ​with​ ​the​ ​largest ​price difference​ ​cost​ ​1.18​ ​times​ ​more​ ​than​ ​its​ ​HA​ ​counterpart.

According​ ​to​ ​the​ ​parking​ ​directory​ ​on​ ​Link’s​ ​website,​ ​the​ ​company​ ​now​ ​owns​ ​214​ ​car​ ​parks that​ ​were​ ​formerly​ ​owned​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Housing​ ​Authority.​ ​From​ ​late​ ​August​ ​to​ ​early​ ​October, FactWire​ ​visited​ ​most​ ​of​ ​them​ ​and​ ​collected​ ​data​ ​on​ ​monthly​ ​rates​ ​from​ ​182​ ​car​ ​parks, including​ ​167​ ​which​ ​provide​ ​covered,​ ​floating​ ​private​ ​car​ ​parking​ ​spaces,​ ​and​ ​82​ ​car parks​ ​that​ ​provide​ ​covered,​ ​fixed​ ​private​ ​car​ ​parking​ ​spaces.

Link Real Estate Investment Trust

In 2005, the Hong Kong Housing Authority hived off 180 retail and car parking facilities at public housing estates into the Link Real Estate Investment Trust for HK$33.8bn. The latter now manages 69,000 public estate car parking spaces. Photo: FactWire.

Among​ ​the​ ​167​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​that​ ​provide​ ​covered,​ ​floating​ ​private​ ​car​ ​parking​ ​spaces,​ ​Hoi​ ​Fu Car​ ​Park​ ​in​ ​Yau​ ​Tsim​ ​Mong​ ​District​ ​was ​ ​the​ ​most​ ​expensive,​ ​where​ ​one​ ​covered,​ ​floating space​ ​costs​ ​HK$3,460​ ​per​ ​month.​ ​The​ ​cheapest​ ​was​ ​Fu​ ​Tai​ ​Car​ ​Park​ ​in​ ​Tuen​ ​Mun,​ ​where​ ​one only​ ​costs​ ​HK$1,350​ ​per​ ​month.

factwire link

Photo: FactWire.

Generally​ ​speaking,​ ​the​ ​monthly​ ​rate​ ​for​ ​one​ ​covered,​ ​floating​ ​parking​ ​space​ ​owned​ ​by​ ​Link was​ ​32.9​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​higher​ ​than​ ​its​ ​HA​ ​counterpart,​ ​charging​ ​an​ ​additional​ ​HK$573​ ​on​ ​average. Nearly​ ​one-fifth​ ​of​ ​Link’s​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​are​ ​over​ ​50​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​more​ ​expensive​ ​than​ ​similar​ ​spaces owned​ ​by​ ​the​ ​HA.​ ​Four​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​owned​ ​by​ ​Link​ ​in​ ​Tsing​ ​Yi​ ​(Ching​ ​Wang​ ​Court​ ​Car​ ​Park, Cheung​ ​On​ ​Phase​ ​1​ ​Car​ ​Park,​ ​Cheung​ ​On​ ​Phase​ ​2​ ​Car​ ​Park,​ ​Cheung​ ​Fat​ ​Car​ ​Park)​ ​charge HK$3,230​ ​per​ ​month​ ​for​ ​one​ ​private​ ​car​ ​parking​ ​space,​ ​around​ ​1.18​ ​times​ ​more​ ​than​ ​a similar​ ​space​ ​in​ ​HA​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​located​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​district,​ ​which​ ​only​ ​costs​ ​HK$1,480.

The​ ​average​ ​price​ ​difference​ ​was​ ​smaller​ ​between​ ​covered,​ ​fixed​ ​private​ ​car​ ​parking​ ​spaces offered​ ​by​ ​Link​ ​and​ ​the​ ​HA,​ ​costing​ ​only​ ​HK$321​ ​(16.1​ ​per​ ​cent)​ ​more​ ​in​ ​Link’s​ ​car​ ​parks. The​ ​biggest​ ​average​ ​price​ ​difference​ ​lies​ ​in​ ​Tai​ ​Ping​ ​Car​ ​Park​ ​in​ ​Sheung​ ​Shui,​ ​Wo​ ​Ming​ ​Car Park​ ​in​ ​Tseung​ ​Kwan​ ​O​ ​and​ ​Ching​ ​Wah​ ​Court​ ​Car​ ​Park​ ​in​ ​Tsing​ ​Yi,​ ​where​ ​one​ ​covered, fixed​ ​space​ ​costs​ ​over​ ​50​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​more​ ​than​ ​a​ ​similar​ ​space​ ​in​ ​the​ ​HA’s​ ​car​ ​parks.

Among​ ​the​ ​182​ ​car​ ​parks,​ ​14​ ​of​ ​them​ ​that​ ​provide​ ​covered,​ ​fixed​ ​parking​ ​spaces​ ​and​ ​five that​ ​provide​ ​covered,​ ​floating​ ​parking​ ​spaces​ ​have​ ​lower​ ​monthly​ ​rates​ ​than​ ​their​ ​​ ​HA counterparts.​ ​The​ ​biggest​ ​difference​ ​was​ ​in​ ​Wan​ ​Tsui​ ​Car​ ​Park​ ​in​ ​Chai​ ​Wan,​ ​where​ ​one covered,​ ​fixed​ ​space​ ​was​ ​24.8​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​cheaper​ ​per​ ​month​ ​than​ ​its​ ​HA​ ​counterpart.

Monthly​ ​rates​ ​at​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​owned​ ​by​ ​the​ ​HA​ ​are​ ​determined​ ​by​ ​their​ ​corresponding​ ​districts and​ ​occupancy​ ​rates.​ ​The​ ​HA​ ​divides​ ​Hong​ ​Kong​ ​into​ ​four​ ​regions,​ ​which​ ​are​ ​ranked​ ​in descending​ ​order​ ​according​ ​to​ ​price:​ ​Region​ ​A​ ​(Hong​ ​Kong​ ​and​ ​Kowloon),​ ​Region​ ​B​ ​(Sha Tin,​ ​Ma​ ​On​ ​Shan,​ ​Tsuen​ ​Wan,​ ​Kwai​ ​Chung,​ ​Tseung​ ​Kwan​ ​O),​ ​Region​ ​C​ ​(Tsing​ ​Yi,​ ​Tai​ ​Po, Fanling,​ ​Sheung​ ​Shui)​ ​and​ ​Region​ ​D​ ​(Tuen​ ​Mun,​ ​Yuen​ ​Long,​ ​Tin​ ​Shui​ ​Wai,​ ​Tung​ ​Chung​ ​and Outlying​ ​Islands).

The​ ​actual​ ​rates​ ​are​ ​then​ ​subject​ ​to​ ​a​ ​three-tier​ ​charging​ ​system,​ ​with​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​having occupancy​ ​rates​ ​at​ ​90​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​or​ ​above​ ​in​ ​Tier​ ​1,​ ​those​ ​at​ ​50​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​to​ ​below​ ​90​ ​per​ ​cent in​ ​Tier​ ​2,​ ​below​ ​50​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​in​ ​Tier​ ​3.​ ​According​ ​to​ ​the​ ​HA,​ ​the​ ​average​ ​occupancy​ ​of​ ​its​ ​car parks​ ​for​ ​the​ ​first​ ​11​ ​months​ ​of​ ​2014​ ​was​ ​87​ ​per​ ​cent.​ ​Since​ ​pricing​ ​details​ ​for​ ​all​ ​car​ ​parks were​ ​not​ ​available,​ ​FactWire​ ​adopted​ ​Tier​ ​1​ ​prices​ ​(90​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​or​ ​above​ ​occupancy​ ​rate)​ ​to compare​ ​with​ ​corresponding​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​owned​ ​by​ ​Link.

By​ ​grouping​ ​Link’s​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​into​ ​regions​ ​according​ ​to​ ​the​ ​HA​ ​to​ ​calculate​ ​the​ ​average monthly​ ​rate​ ​in​ ​each​ ​region​ ​and​ ​then​ ​compare​ ​it​ ​to​ ​its​ ​HA​ ​counterpart,​ ​results​ ​show​ ​the biggest​ ​difference​ ​lies​ ​in​ ​region​ ​C,​ ​where​ ​one​ ​covered,​ ​floating​ ​space​ ​and​ ​one​ ​covered,​ ​fixed space​ ​respectively​ ​cost​ ​HK$928​ ​and​ ​HK$753​ ​more​ ​on​ ​average​ ​per​ ​month.

In​ ​2005,​ ​the​ ​Hong​ ​Kong​ ​Housing​ ​Authority​ ​hived​ ​off​ ​180​ ​retail​ ​and​ ​car​ ​parking​ ​facilities​ ​of​ ​its public​ ​housing​ ​estates​ ​into​ ​the​ ​Link​ ​Real​ ​Estate​ ​Investment​ ​Trust​ ​for​ ​HK$33.8bn.​ ​But​ ​since 2014,​ ​the​ ​latter​ ​has​ ​already​ ​disposed​ ​of​ ​28​ ​shopping​ ​centres​ ​and​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​with​ ​only​ ​152 assets​ ​remaining​ ​in​ ​its​ ​property​ ​portfolio.

According​ ​to​ ​Link’s​ ​2016​ ​annual​ ​report,​ ​it​ ​now​ ​manages​ ​69,000​ ​public​ ​estate​ ​car​ ​parking spaces.​ ​Until​ ​31​ ​March,​ ​2017,​ ​Link​ ​had​ ​a​ ​total​ ​revenue​ ​of​ ​HK$1.94bn​ ​from​ ​car​ ​park​ ​rentals, with​ ​a​ ​quarter​ ​of​ ​which​ ​came​ ​from​ ​hourly​ ​parking,​ ​amounting​ ​to​ ​HK$484m.

Over​ ​90​ ​per​ ​cent​ ​of​ ​Link’s​ ​car​ ​parks​ ​charge​ ​more​ ​than​ ​their​ ​Housing​ ​Authority counterparts