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.

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.

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.

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.

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