Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Storing utopia is getting expensive in Hong Kong

This story from the LA Times presents a stark depiction of the relationship between speculative real estate, parking and inequality.
‎Parking space transactions in November rose more than five-fold compared with a year earlier at 1,640, according to Centaline, one of the largest real estate firms in Hong Kong. The average price of each space sold was $92,307, up 20% from a year earlier... The lofty prices paid for parking berths are unthinkable for working-class Hong Kong residents — many of whom are finding their city painfully unaffordable. The city's wealth gap is now at a 30-year high... 'People go crazy living in such a small place,' said Lee, a 26-year-old bakery employee, who pays $192 a month for the room — which is about half the size of a typical parking space.