Call for shake-up in parking space sales

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 July, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 July, 1997, 12:00am

A REASONABLE number of parking spaces in new private housing blocks should be allocated to owners or tenants, a study conducted by the Consumer Council has recommended.

The study, which examined existing regulations and trade practices of car parks, said the interests of home buyers were not well protected.

There was loose statutory controls on the sale of parking spaces, which developers could easily manipulate.

A source said developers were able to use some sales techniques which were anti-competitive.

As with properties, they could alter sales of car parks on competing sites and release spaces in batches rather than as whole projects.

Developers could also restrict supply by retaining units for internal sales and deferring public sales.

Home owners at South Horizons in Ap Lei Chau protested last month against developer Secan, part of Li Ka-shing's Hut chison Whampoa, for cutting the supply of spaces to increase prices.

Home owners bought spaces for between $900,000 and $1.3 million each in May, but discovered a week later the company had sold 500 spaces to another developer for an average of $800,000 each.

The report said new home buyers should have the priority in renting or purchasing spaces in their blocks.

The report, to be released in the next few weeks, said home buyers should also have more access to information about parking spaces, such as the number of spaces to be offered for sale or rental, and the ratio of spaces to the number of flats.

It said regulations or guidelines should be made by the Government or the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong. Owners' committees should also be consulted on the parking space sales procedures.