Even as thousands of Hong Kongers flee to the UK or elsewhere to escape China's crackdown on political freedoms, the city-state's property market is breaking yet another record.
Citing a report in the Hong Kong Economic Times, Bloomberg reports that Wharf Holdings and Nan Fung Group sold a parking space for HK$10.2 million ($1.3 million) at the luxury Mount Nicholson residential project, according to a source. The price beat the previous record of HK$7.6 million for a spot in an office tower set back in 2019, before Hong Kong's protest movement triggered a crackdown by Beijing that has engulfed the territory's future in uncertainty, especially since China can simply snatch anyone - foreign nationals or otherwise - from Hong Kong's jurisdiction.
Mount Nicholson has a reputation for being one of the most iconic upscale projects in Hong Kong. At one point, an apartment in the project was the most expensive in Asia before the title was taken by CK Asset Holdings Ltd.’s 21 Borrett Road in February.
As that record-breaking sale might suggest, the parking spot record isn't a total surprise. HK has been seeing a comeback in the luxury home market in recent months, seeing record-breaking transactions as buyer's confidence returns. A house on Hong Kong's famous Peak (a luxury residential area overlooking the rest of the city) just rented for HK$1.6 a month in May.
Still, despite its recent sharp rebound, Hong Kong's economy "isn't out of the woods just yet," according to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau. HK's economy grew 7.9% in the first quarter of 2021 vs. a year ago, marking the first economic expansion after six consecutive quarters of contraction. Yau appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" Thursday morning to discuss it.
While retail sales have seen a strong rebound, tourism remains weak, and the expansion is on uneven footing, Yau said.