Sales of car parking spaces in Hong Kong fell to a 22-month low in March according to industry data amid economic headwinds, prompting one of the city’s major investors to offer extra sweeteners to entice buyers. Veteran investor Choi Bak-lung, who holds more than 200 car parking spaces in Tseung Kwan O, said he would provide guaranteed rental income and short-term loans to buyers in a bid to speed up sales amid poor market sentiment. “Investors now need to think of new gimmicks to push the sale of investment properties as market sentiment turns sour,” said Fred Yu, deputy sales manager at Centaline Property Agency in Tseung Kwan O district. Hong Kong’s finance chief Paul Chan Mo-po has warned the city’s economy will contract in the first quarter and unemployment will continue to rise amid the fifth wave of coronavirus infections. Fresh initiatives will soon be rolled out to assist businesses struggling under the outbreak, he added. Hong Kong property developers roll out discounts, promotions for e-voucher scheme Last week, Choi offered 121 car parking spaces and 24 motorcycle parking spaces at Metropolis, in the phase three development of Metro City near Po Lam Station in Tseung Kwan O. Buyers will receive 4 per cent guaranteed rental income during the first year, and Choi is also providing bridging loans of up to one year to cover up to 70 per cent of selling prices. The incentives appear to have worked as Choi pulled in about HK$200 million (US$25.5 million) from the sale of 95 per cent of his car parking spaces, with prices between HK$1.59 million and HK$1.6 9 million, and 24 motorcycle parking spaces sold at HK$280,000 each. The success has encouraged Choi to release another 100 car parking spaces at Nan Fung Plaza in Hang Hau, Tseung Kwan O, according to people familiar with the matter. The vendor will offer the same incentives to entice buyers, a person familiar with the plan said. Midland says Hong Kong’s property gloom will stay in the first half The indicative price for parking spaces at Nan Fung Plaza would be around HK$1.8 million each, in line with the current market, said one of the people familiar with the offering. This would value the entire lot a HK$180 million. Choi did not respond to a request for comment from the Post. Sale of car parking spaces in the city fell 11.5 per cent to 432 last month from February, the least since May 2020, according to data released by Midland Realty. This was also the lowest level just before authorities removed the double stamp duty on non-residential properties in November 2020. On average, car parking spaces sold for between HK$1 million and HK$2 million fell 17.3 per cent to 729 in the first quarter against the same quarter in 2021, according to Midland Realty. Double stamp duty – known as Doubled Ad Valorem Stamp Duty – was introduced in February 2013 with the aim of tackling speculative activity in the market. It was rolled back to help revive the property market rocked by months of anti-government protests.